Abstract

To better understand the physical mechanisms of slow slip events (SSEs) detected worldwide, we explore the scaling relationships of various source parameters and compare them with similar scaling laws for earthquakes. These scaling relationships highlight differences and similarities between slow slip events and earthquakes and hold implications for the degree of heterogeneity and fault‐healing characteristics. The static stress drop remains constant for different‐sized events as is observed for earthquakes. However, the static stress drop of slow slip events is within a range of 0.01–1.0 MPa, 1–2 orders of magnitude lower than that found for earthquakes, which could be related to the low stress state on the fault. The average rupture velocity, ranging from kilometers per second to kilometers per day, decreases linearly with increasing seismic moment in log–log space, unlike earthquakes that are nearly constant. This inverse relationship of rupture velocity with seismic moment could be related to the heterogeneity of fault properties. Slow slip events typically have ratios of event duration over dislocation rise time less than 3, while earthquakes have ratios greater than 3. This indicates that slow slip events are less pulselike than earthquakes in their mode of propagation and suggests that the healing behind the rupture front is delayed. The recurrence statistics of slow slip events on the northern Cascadia subduction zone are weakly time predictable and moderately antislip predictable (that is, the event size and preevent recurrence interval are anticorrelated), which may indicate that healing between events strengthens the fault with time.

Online Material: Table of source parameters and data sources.

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