Science, Vol.365, No.6455, 808-+, 2019
The slow earthquake spectrum in the Japan Trench illuminated by the S-net seafloor observatories
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.