Temporal and spatial variations in seismic anisotropy and V P /V S ratios in a region of slow slip

TitleTemporal and spatial variations in seismic anisotropy and V P /V S ratios in a region of slow slip
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsZal, HJerzy, Jacobs, K, Savage, MKane, Yarce, J, Mroczek, S, Graham, K, Todd, EK, Nakai, J, Iwasaki, Y, Sheehan, A, Mochizuki, K, Wallace, L, Schwartz, S, Webb, S, Henrys, S
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Type of ArticleJournal Article

In September 2014, a five week long slow slip event (SSE) occurred near Gisborne at the northern Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand, and was recorded by offshore instruments deployed by the Hikurangi Ocean Bottom Investigation of Tremor and Slow Slip (HOBITSS) project. Up to 25 cm of slip occurred directly below the HOBITSS array. We calculate shear wave splitting (SWS) and V P / V S ratios for event-station pairs on HOBITSS ocean bottom seismometers and onshore GeoNet seismic stations to determine the relationship in time and space between slow slip and these seismic properties. Spatial averaging of SWS fast azimuths yields trench-perpendicular fast azimuths in some areas, suggesting that compressive stress from plate convergence closes microcracks and controls anisotropy in the upper-plate. Variations from the trench perpendicular directions are observed near a subducting seamount, with directions closely resembling fracture and fault patterns created by subducting seamounts previously observed in both laboratory and field experiments. Temporal variations in fast azimuths are observed at three stations, two of which are located above the seamount, suggesting measurable variations in stress orientations. During the SSE, median V P / V S measurements across all offshore stations increase from 1.817 to 1.894 and SWS delay times decrease from 0.178 s to 0.139 s (both changes are significant within 95% confidence intervals). Temporal variations in V P / V S and delay time are consistent with fluid pressurization below a permeability barrier and movement of fluids during the rupture of a slow-slip patch.


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