Investigating slow earthquake activity in subduction zones provides insight into the slip behavior of megathrusts, which can provide important clues about the rupture extent of future great earthquakes. Using the S-net ocean-bottom seismograph network along the Japan Trench, we mapped a detailed distribution of tectonic tremors, which coincided with very-low-frequency earthquakes and a slow slip event. Compiling these and other related observations, including repeating earthquakes and earthquake swarms, we found that the slow earthquake distribution is complementary to the Tohoku-Oki earthquake rupture. We used our observations to divide the megathrust in the Japan Trench into three along-strike segments characterized by different slip behaviors. We found that the rupture of the Tohoku-Oki earthquake, which nucleated in the central segment, was terminated by the two adjacent segments.
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