Seismic evidence for megathrust fault-valve behavior during episodic tremor and slip

Abstract

Fault slip behavior during episodic tremor and slow slip (ETS) events, which occur at the deep extension of subduction zone megathrust faults, is believed to be related to cyclic fluid processes that necessitate fluctuations in pore fluid pressures. In most subduction zones, a layer of anomalously low seismic-wave velocities (LVL) is observed in the vicinity of ETS, and suggests high pore fluid pressures that weaken the megathrust. Using repeated seismic scattering observations in the Cascadia subduction zone, we observe a change in the seismic velocity associated with the LVL after ETS events, which we interpret as a response to fluctuations in pore fluid pressure. These results provide direct evidence of megathrust fault-valve processes during ETS.

Publication
Science Advances