Connecting a broad spectrum of transient slip on the San Andreas fault

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Yen Joe Tan, David Marsan


Strain accumulated on the deep extension of some faults are episodically released during transient slow-slip events which can subsequently load the shallow seismogenic region. At the San Andreas fault, the characteristics of slow-slip events are difficult to constrain geodetically due to their small deformation signal. Slow-slip events are often accompanied by coincident tremor bursts composed of many low-frequency earthquakes. Here we probabilistically estimate the spatiotemporal clustering properties of low-frequency earthquakes detected along the central San Andreas fault. We find that tremor bursts follow a power-law spatial and temporal decay similar to earthquake aftershock sequences. The low-frequency earthquake clusters reveal that the underlying slow-slip events have two modes of rupture velocity. Compared to regular earthquakes, the slow-slip events have smaller stress drops and rupture velocities but follow similar magnitude-frequency, moment-area, and moment-duration scaling. Our results connect a broad spectrum of transient fault slips that spans several orders of magnitude in rupture velocity.



Earth Sciences, Geophysics and Seismology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


low-frequency earthquakes, non-volcanic tremor, san andreas fault, slow-slip events


Published: 2020-02-13 13:27

Last Updated: 2020-09-04 19:03

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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