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Similar scaling laws for earthquakes and Cascadia slow-slip events

Michel, Sylvain and Gualandi, Adriano and Avouac, Jean-Philippe (2019) Similar scaling laws for earthquakes and Cascadia slow-slip events. Nature, 574 (7779). pp. 522-526. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1673-6.

[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 1: Moment–duration and moment–area scaling laws for automatic measurements) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 2: SSEs duration estimations for the example of SSE 34) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 3: Segment delimitation) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Fig. 4: Comparison with slip models of a previously published study) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Image (JPEG) (Extended Data Table 1: Manual estimation of SSE duration) - Supplemental Material
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[img] PDF - Supplemental Material
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[img] MS Excel (Source Data Fig. 1) - Supplemental Material
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[img] MS Excel (Source Data Fig. 2) - Supplemental Material
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[img] MS Excel (Source Data Fig. 3) - Supplemental Material
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[img] MS Excel (Source Data Fig. 4) - Supplemental Material
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Faults can slip not only episodically during earthquakes but also during transient aseismic slip events, often called slow-slip events. Previous studies based on observations compiled from various tectonic settings have suggested that the moment of slow-slip events is proportional to their duration, instead of following the duration-cubed scaling found for earthquakes. This finding has spurred efforts to unravel the cause of the difference in scaling. Thanks to a new catalogue of slow-slip events on the Cascadia megathrust based on the inversion of surface deformation measurements between 2007 and 2017, we find that a cubic moment–duration scaling law is more likely. Like regular earthquakes, slow-slip events also have a moment that is proportional to A^(3/2), where A is the rupture area, and obey the Gutenberg–Richter relationship between frequency and magnitude. Finally, these slow-slip events show pulse-like ruptures similar to seismic ruptures. The scaling properties of slow-slip events are thus strikingly similar to those of regular earthquakes, suggesting that they are governed by similar dynamic properties.

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URLURL TypeDescription ItemData
Michel, Sylvain0000-0001-7878-6603
Gualandi, Adriano0000-0002-3100-8932
Avouac, Jean-Philippe0000-0002-3060-8442
Additional Information:© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2019. Received: 31 August 2018. Accepted: 1 August 2019. Published online: 23 October 2019. This study was funded by NSF award EAR-1821853. S.M. is currently supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from CNES. We thank J. Gomberg for discussion and for providing a revised version of the catalogue of tremor durations presented in ref. 10. We thank R. Burgmann for comments that helped to improve the study. Author Contributions: S.M., A.G. and J.-P.A. designed the study, interpreted the results and wrote the manuscript; S.M. and A.G. performed the computations. J.-P.A. defined the scope of the study. Data availability: The durations and moments estimated in this study are listed in Extended Data Table 1 and in the Source Data of Fig. 3. The slip model of Michel et al., which is used as input in this study is available at: The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information: Nature thanks Roland Burgmann, Ken Creager and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7779
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97594
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 Oct 2019 18:11
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:32

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