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Slow Earthquakes Linked Along Dip in the Nankai Subduction Zone

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Science  10 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6010, pp. 1502
DOI: 10.1126/science.1197102

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Abstract

We identified a strong temporal correlation between three distinct types of slow earthquakes distributed over 100 kilometers along the dip of the subducting oceanic plate at the western margin of the Nankai megathrust rupture zone, southwest Japan. In 2003 and 2010, shallow very-low-frequency earthquakes near the Nankai trough as well as nonvolcanic tremor at depths of 30 to 40 kilometers were triggered by the acceleration of a long-term slow slip event in between. This correlation suggests that the slow slip might extend along-dip between the source areas of deeper and shallower slow earthquakes and thus could modulate the stress buildup on the adjacent megathrust rupture zone.

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