Silent Slip on the Cascadia Subduction Interface

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Science  25 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5521, pp. 1495-1496
DOI: 10.1126/science.1061770

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Sensor arrays based on the Global Positioning System permit increasingly precise, continuous monitoring of deformation in Earth's crust. In his Perspective, Thatcher highlights the report by Dragert et al., who have analyzed data from one such array and have detected a silent (aseismic) slip event in a subduction zone. Such events would normally be expected to be associated with recent earthquake activity. Much remains to be learned about earthquake stress buildup, but thanks to GPS and other technologies, our understanding of earthquakes is rapidly expanding.