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Temporal changes of event size distribution during episodes of shallow tectonic tremor, Nankai trough
  • Masaru Nakano,
  • Suguru Yabe
Masaru Nakano
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

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Suguru Yabe
Geological Survey of Japan, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
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Slow earthquakes follow a power-law size distribution with an exponential taper for the largest events. We investigated changes in the size distribution of shallow tectonic tremor events during two prolonged tremor episodes (>1 month) along the Nankai trough and found that the slope of the size distributions increased while the cut-off magnitudes decreased late during each episode, as tremor activity waned. Interpreting these changes with the two-dimensional probabilistic cell automaton model of slow earthquakes, we found that a decrease in event ignition probability or an increase in energy dissipation during slip can qualitatively explain the observed changes. These changes imply that a decrease in accumulated stress or pore-fluid pressure on the fault interface occurred during each tremor episode. Because the tremor source migrates during an episode, the changes in the size distribution parameters can be attributed to spatial variations or temporal changes in the source characteristics.
16 Mar 2021Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 48 issue 5. 10.1029/2020GL092011