Strength of tremor patches along deep transition zone of a megathrust

Masayuki Kano, Aitaro Kato, Ryosuke Ando, Kazushige Obara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Deep low frequency tremors are indicators of slow slip transients in the brittle-ductile transition zone along subducting plates. Investigation of comprehensive tremor activities is therefore an important issue for understanding the seismic/aseismic characteristics in transition zones. Here, we focus on the radiated energy from tremors to reveal the along-strike heterogeneity in the strength of tremor patches. Based on a tremor catalog that more accurately evaluates radiated energy, we examine the spatio-temporal activity of tremors accompanied by slow slip events (SSEs) in western Shikoku, southwestern Japan. The new finding of this study is that the energy radiated from tremors is positively correlated with the speed of tremor migration front and the slip rate along the plate interface during a SSE. This can be qualitatively explained by a stress diffusion model, which consists of along-strike heterogeneities in the effective strength of tremor patches embedded in a ductile shear zone. This effective strength heterogeneity is supported by a lateral variation in the stress drop of a SSE; it is consistent with the fluid pressure distribution along the plate boundary fault and the tidal sensitivity of tremors. Accurate evaluation of tremor activities, especially the radiated energy, can be used to infer the spatial distribution of the strength of tremor patches in transition zones worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3655
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Strength of tremor patches along deep transition zone of a megathrust'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this