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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2020

Self-similarity of low-frequency earthquakes


Low-frequency earthquakes are a particular class of slow earthquakes that provide a unique source of information on the physical processes along a subduction zone during the preparation of large earthquakes. Despite increasing detection of these events in recent years, their source mechanisms are still poorly characterised, and the relation between their magnitude and size remains controversial. Here, we present the source characterisation of more than 10,000 low-frequency earthquakes that occurred during tremor sequences in 2012-2016 along the Nankai subduction zone in western Shikoku, Japan. We show that the scaling of seismic moment versus corner frequency for these events is compatible with an inverse of the cube law, as widely observed for regular earthquakes. Their radiation, however, appears depleted in high-frequency content when compared to regular earthquakes. The displacement spectrum decays beyond the corner frequency with an omega-cube power law. Our result is consistent with shear rupture as the source mechanism for low-frequency earthquakes, and suggests a self-similar rupture process and constant stress drop. When investigating the dependence of the stress drop value on the rupture speed, we found that low-frequency earthquakes might propagate at lower rupture velocity than regular earthquakes, releasing smaller stress drop.


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Dates and versions

insu-03584786 , version 1 (24-02-2022)


Attribution - CC BY 4.0



Mariano Supino, Natalia Poiata, Gaetano Festa, Jean-Pierre Vilotte, Claudio Satriano, et al.. Self-similarity of low-frequency earthquakes. Scientific Reports, 2020, 10, p.367-371. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-63584-6⟩. ⟨insu-03584786⟩
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