PerspectiveSeismology

A tale of two trenches

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Science  23 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6455, pp. 750-751
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay5621

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Summary

Megathrust faults in subduction zones—the interface where one tectonic plate slides jerkily beneath another—host the world's most powerful earthquakes. Over the past 20 years, new seismic phenomena have been discovered and linked with giant earthquakes. On page 808 of this issue, Nishikawa et al. (1) combine numerous catalogs of slow and fast seismic phenomena to detect and characterize a range of slow slip processes that occurred before and after the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake along the Japan Trench. This magnitude 9 (M9) earthquake and its resulting tsunami caused more than 15,000 casualties and $200 billion in losses.

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