Deep low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) and nonvolcanic tremor have distinctive characteristics unlike those of regular earthquakes, including strong anisotropy in their migration velocity and source spectra displaying 1/f decay. We show that a physical model can explain these features in a simple framework with slip pulses originating on fault heterogeneity and triggered by slow-slip events. LFE/tremor source areas in the model consist of unstable patches sparsely and heterogeneously distributed following a Gaussian distribution. The difference in their migration speeds along dip and along strike was reproduced, without anisotropic rheological properties, by introducing alignments of their sources similar to observed streaks of LFEs/tremor. The key to reproducing inverse linear spectral decay is that the slip pulse has a constant mean moment rate. This model provides new insights into the physical source process of LFEs and tremor and should find practical use in assessing properties of deep plate interfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)