News of the WeekSeismology

Deep Quakes Slow But Very Steady

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Science  29 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5564, pp. 2344-2345
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5564.2344b

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When it comes to quakes, Earth doesn't have much rhythm. Tens of kilometers below the surface, faults rupture with a chaotic unpredictability that has stumped seismologists and sometimes caught cities off guard. On page 2423, however, a team of geophysicists reports that a strange kind of temblor, called a slow earthquake, goes off silently about every 14 months in the Pacific Northwest.