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Fine structure of tremor migrations beneath the Kii Peninsula, Southwest Japan, extracted with a space-time Hough transform
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  • Kodai Sagae,
  • Hisashi Nakahara,
  • Takeshi Nishimura,
  • Kazutoshi Imanishi
Kodai Sagae
Geological Survey of Japan, AIST

Corresponding Author:k.sagae@aist.go.jp

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Hisashi Nakahara
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Takeshi Nishimura
Tohoku University
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Kazutoshi Imanishi
Geological Survey of Japan, AIST
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Tectonic tremors occurring on subducting plate boundaries are known to migrate at various timescales and migration speeds. Spatiotemporal patterns of tremor migration are key to investigating the rupture growth of slow earthquakes. However, spatiotemporal patterns are not sufficiently simple to visually define tremor migrations. This study developed a space-time Hough transform to objectively extract tremor migrations. The space-time Hough transform enables the extraction of multiple tremor migrations with various durations, migration directions, and migration speeds. We applied this method to a catalog of tremors for the period from 2012 to 2014, which was determined from the data analysis of a dense seismic array deployed in the Kii Peninsula, Southwest Japan. We successfully extracted 1,010 tremor migrations with durations ranging from 10 min to 24 h. Along-strike migrations propagating southwestward were predominant in the northeastern part of the Kii Peninsula, whereas those propagating northeastward were principal in the southwestern part. Regarding the along-dip direction, tremor migrations propagating in the up-dip directions were predominant in the deep part, and those propagating in the down-dip directions were principal in the shallow part. The patterns of along-strike migrations were related to the distribution of tremor energies, suggesting that tremor migrations may be controlled by heterogeneous structures of frictional properties on the plate interface. We further found that the migration speed is proportional to the inverse of the square root of the duration. This relation implies that a diffusion process controls the growth of fault ruptures behind tremor migrations.