Slow slip source characterized by lithological and geometric heterogeneity

Philip M. Barnes, Laura M. Wallace, Demian M. Saffer, Rebecca E. Bell, Michael B. Underwood, Ake Fagereng, Francesca Meneghini, Heather M. Savage, Hannah S. Rabinowitz, Julia K. Morgan, Hiroko Kitajima, Steffen Kutterolf, Yoshitaka Hashimoto, Christie H. Engelmann De Oliveira, Atsushi Noda, Martin P. Crundwell, Claire L. Shepherd, Adam D. Woodhouse, Robert N. Harris, Maomao WangStuart Henrys, Daniel H.N. Barker, Katerina E. Petronotis, Sylvain M. Bourlange, Michael B. Clennell, Ann E. Cook, Brandon E. Dugan, Judith Elger, Patrick M. Fulton, Davide Gamboa, Annika Greve, Shuoshuo Han, Andre Hüpers, Matt J. Ikari, Yoshihiro Ito, Gil Young Kim, Hiroaki Koge, Hikweon Lee, Xuesen Li, Min Luo, Pierre R. Malie, Gregory F. Moore, Joshu J. Mountjoy, David D. McNamara, Matteo Paganoni, Elizabeth J. Screaton, Uma Shankar, Srisharan Shreedharan, Evan A. Solomon, Xiujuan Wang, Hung Yu Wu, Ingo A. Pecher, Leah J. LeVay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Slow slip events (SSEs) accommodate a significant proportion of tectonic plate motion at subduction zones, yet little is known about the faults that actually host them. The shallow depth (<2 km) of well-documented SSEs at the Hikurangi subduction zone offshore New Zealand offers a unique opportunity to link geophysical imaging of the subduction zone with direct access to incoming material that represents the megathrust fault rocks hosting slow slip. Two recent International Ocean Discovery Program Expeditions sampled this incoming material before it is entrained immediately down-dip along the shallow plate interface. Drilling results, tied to regional seismic reflection images, reveal heterogeneous lithologies with highly variable physical properties entering the SSE source region. These observations suggest that SSEs and associated slow earthquake phenomena are promoted by lithological, mechanical, and frictional heterogeneity within the fault zone, enhanced by geometric complexity associated with subduction of rough crust.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaay3314
JournalScience Advances
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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