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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Seminars and Events

Examining the spectrum of slow earthquakes

22nd January 2019, 12:00 to 13:00, Arthur Holmes Building - ES230 -TR3, Dr. Jessica Hawthorne Associate Professor in Geophysics, University of Oxford

Slow earthquakes are now observed around the world, and they have a range of sizes, durations, and slip rates. For instance, month-long slow slip events have slip rates of just 10 -7 m/s while 0.5-second-long tremor earthquakes have slip rates up to 10 -3 m/s. I examine the properties of a range of slow earthquakes and consider whether a single physical process could create them all. I show that the small earthquakes that constitute tremor likely have rupture velocities that are a less than half the shear wave speed. I show that the spectra of large slow slip events suggest that the large events contain numerous smaller ones. These observations seem to be indicating that there is a single spectrum of slow earthquakes, at that smaller slow earthquakes in the spectrum have higher slip rates. I consider which physical processes could produce that spectrum.

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