Seismological Detection of Slab Metamorphism

Science  31 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5573, pp. 1625-1626
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072602

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The occurrence of more or less continuous ground vibrations ("volcanic tremor") is an important indicator of volcanic activity. But results from the "Hi-net" seismic network in Japan reported by Obara show that continuous ground vibrations can occur far away from any volcanic activity. In his Perspective, Julian discusses the idea that this tremor is excited by flow of metamorphic fluids. He also identifies other possible locations where such a tremor may be detected and explains what may be learnt from measuring it.