Journal Article Episodic tremor and slip near the Japan Trench prior to the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake

Ito, Yoshihiro  ,  Hino, Ryota  ,  Suzuki, Syuichi  ,  Kaneda, Yoshiyuki

42 ( 6 )  , pp.1725 - 1731 , 2015-03-24 , American Geophysical Union
Change in the rates of aseismic deformation prior to large earthquakes is a major area of interest in earthquake physics. Here we present evidence that episodic tremor and slip occurred in the shallow subduction zone within the source region of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake prior to the main shock. Ocean bottom seismometers near the Japan Trench recorded some excitations in amplitude of ambient noise level accompanying both the 2008 and 2011 slow slip events. The observed signals show that low frequencies of 5–8 Hz dominated, suggesting that the excitations were due to small low-frequency tremors accompanying the slow slip events. The largest amplitude tremor was observed just before the 2011 event. The estimated sources of tremors were possibly distributed within the coseismic slip area of the 2011 event, suggesting the shallow plate-boundary thrust near the trench is a general location of slow earthquakes.

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