Recently, the occurrence of slow earthquakes such as low-frequency earthquakes and very low-frequency earthquakes have been recognized at depths of about 30 km in southwest Japan and Cascadia. These slow earthquakes occur sometimes in isolation and sometimes break into chain-reaction, producing tremor that migrates at a speed of about 5-15 km/day and suggesting a strong interaction among nearby small asperities. In this study, we formulate a 3-D subduction plate boundary model with two types of small asperities chained along the trench at the depth of 30 km. Our simulation succeeds in representing various types of slow earthquakes including low-frequency earthquakes and rapid slip velocity in the same asperity, and indicates that interaction between asperities may cause the very low-frequency earthquakes. Our simulation also shows chain reaction along trench with propagation speed that can be made consistent with observations by adjusting model parameters, which suggests that the interactions also explain the observed migration of slow earthquakes.
- Chain reaction
- Non-volcanic deep low-frequency tremors
- Rate and state dependent friction law
- Rupture propagation process
- Slow slip events
ASJC Scopus subject areas