Deep tremor under Shikoku, Japan, consists primarily, and perhaps entirely, of swarms of low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) that occur as shear slip on the plate interface. Although tremor is observed at other plate boundaries, the lack of cataloged low-frequency earthquakes has precluded a similar conclusion about tremor in those locales. We use a network autocorrelation approach to detect and locate LFEs within tremor recorded at three subduction zones characterized by different thermal structures and levels of interplate seismicity: southwest Japan, northern Cascadia, and Costa Rica. In each case we find that LFEs are the primary constituent of tremor and that they locate on the deep continuation of the plate boundary. This suggests that tremor in these regions shares a common mechanism and that temperature is not the primary control on such activity. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional publication details
Deep low-frequency earthquakes in tremor localize to the plate interface in multiple subduction zones