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    Solid earth sciences

    Session convener-recommended article JpGU Meeting 2013


    Short-term slow slip events along the Ryukyu Trench, southwestern Japan, observed by continuous GNSS

    Nishimura T

    Slow slip event (SSE), Slow earthquakes, Ryukyu Trench, Nankai Trough, GNSS

    Short-term SSE fault models along the Ryukyu Trench during the period from 1997 to 2013.

    Blue rectangles indicate the rectangular faults. Green vectors represent slip vectors. Clusters of short-term SSEs are indicated by C1 to C6. Red dots are epicenters of low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) determined by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The hatched areas were excluded from the analysis because of the poor resolution in the used data.

    In this study, short-term slow slip events (SSEs) along the Ryukyu Trench, southwestern Japan were systematically examined using continuous global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data. In total, 130 probable and 93 possible short-term SSEs in the moment magnitude (Mw) range of 5.6 to 6.8 were identified from January 1997 to November 2013 by GNSS time series offset monitoring and elastic dislocation modeling with a rectangular fault located on the subducting Philippine Sea Plate. The detected short-term SSEs were found to have a variety of characteristic recurrence intervals, magnitudes, durations, and coincidental seismic activities. Short-term SSEs without identified low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) and low-frequency tremors (LFTs) were found to be common along the Ryukyu Trench. The total slip distributions and SSE numbers were heterogeneous and mostly between 10 and 60 km in depth. Although shallow (depth ≤20 km) short-term SSEs have never been detected along the Nankai Trough, it was notable that such SSEs often occur on the shallow plate interface along the Ryukyu Trench. This may be related to the incomplete interplate locking estimated by various geodetic studies. A band of short-term SSEs in the 20 to 40 km depth range extends from west Shikoku through the Bungo Channel to mid-Kyushu and then fades away around the subducted Kyushu-Palau Ridge. SSEs with accompanying LFEs and LFTs were found to be limited to western Shikoku and the Bungo Channel. We found several distinctive clusters of short-term SSEs, in addition to a cluster previously identified in the Yaeyama Islands. The study also identified a cluster northeast of Kikaijima consisting of 20 repeated SSEs at depths in the vicinity of 10 km near the trench where the Amami Plateau subducts, as well as another cluster southeast of Okinawa Island consisting of 29 Mw ≤ 6.0 SSEs. The results suggest that the distribution of short-term SSEs, as well as that of large earthquakes, is affected by the topography of the subducting plate.