On 30 May 2015 an isolated deep earthquake (∼670 km, Mw 7.9) occurred to the west of the Bonin Islands. To clarify its causal mechanism and its relationship to the subducting Pacific slab, we determined a detailed P-wave tomography of the deep earthquake source zone using a large number of arrival-time data. Our results show that this large deep event occurred within the subducting Pacific slab which is penetrating into the lower mantle. In the Izu-Bonin region, the Pacific slab is split at ∼28° north latitude, i.e., slightly north of the 2015 deep event hypocenter. In the north the slab becomes stagnant in the mantle transition zone, whereas in the south the slab is directly penetrating into the lower mantle. This deep earthquake was caused by joint effects of several factors, including the Pacific slab's fast deep subduction, slab tearing, slab thermal variation, stress changes and phase transformations in the slab, and complex interactions between the slab and the ambient mantle.
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