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Nature. 2007 Mar 15;446(7133):305-7.

Non-volcanic tremor and low-frequency earthquake swarms.

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Department of Geophysics, 397 Panama Mall, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-2215, USA.


Non-volcanic tremor is a weak, extended duration seismic signal observed episodically on some major faults, often in conjunction with slow slip events. Such tremor may hold the key to understanding fundamental processes at the deep roots of faults, and could signal times of accelerated slip and hence increased seismic hazard. The mechanism underlying the generation of tremor and its relationship to aseismic slip are, however, as yet unresolved. Here we demonstrate that tremor beneath Shikoku, Japan, can be explained as a swarm of small, low-frequency earthquakes, each of which occurs as shear faulting on the subduction-zone plate interface. This suggests that tremor and slow slip are different manifestations of a single process.


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