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Is Slow Slip in Subduction Zones for Real?
  • Jyoti Behura,
  • Farnoush Forghani
Jyoti Behura
Seismic Science LLC

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Farnoush Forghani
University of Colorado
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The Slow-Slip hypothesis is postulated on two observations– existence of tectonic tremors and their spatio-temporal correlation with anomalous slow reversals in horizontal geodetic measurements. The above observations have led geoscientists to believe that the down-dip portion of the plate interface is slowly shearing and releases energy gradually in the form of tremor. However, numerous observations and scientific findings are poorly explained by the Slow-Slip hypothesis. Here, we show that periodic seismic activity and geodetic changes, result from the episodic buckling of the overriding continental crust and its rapid collapse on the subducting oceanic slab. According to the Episodic Buckling and Collapse hypothesis, geodetic measurements, previously inferred as slow slip, are the surficial expressions of slowly-evolving buckling and rapid collapse of the over-riding plate, while tremor swarms result from the striking of the collapsing overriding plate on the subducting slab (as opposed to slipping or shearing).