Shallow slow‐slip events (SSEs) contribute to strain release near the shallow portions of subduction interfaces and may contribute to promoting shallow subduction earthquakes. Recent efforts in offshore monitoring of shallow SSEs have provided evidence of possible interactions between shallow SSEs and megathrust earthquakes. In this study, we use a dynamic earthquake simulator that captures both quasi‐static (for SSEs) and dynamic (for megathrust earthquakes) slip to explore their interactions and implications for seismic and tsunami hazards. We model slip behaviors of a shallow‐dipping subduction interface on which two locally locked patches (asperities) with different strengths are embedded within a conditionally stable zone. We find that both SSEs and earthquakes can occur, and they interact over multiple earthquake cycles in the model. Dynamic ruptures can nucleate on the asperities and propagate into the surrounding conditionally stable zone at slow speeds, generating tsunami earthquakes. A clear correlation emerges between the size of an earthquake and SSE activities preceding it. Small earthquakes rupture only the low‐strength asperity, whereas large earthquakes rupture both. Before a large earthquake, periodic SSEs occur around the high‐strength asperity, gradually loading stress into its interior. The critically stressed high‐strength asperity can be ruptured together with the low‐strength one in the large earthquake, followed by a relatively quiet interseismic period with very few SSEs and then a small earthquake. An SSE may or may not directly lead to nucleation of an earthquake, depending on whether a nearby asperity is ready for spontaneously dynamic failure. In addition, because of different SSE activities, the coupling degree may change dramatically between different interseismic periods, suggesting that its estimate based on a short period of observation may be biased.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.