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Tectonic tremor on Vancouver Island, Cascadia, modulated by the body and surface waves of the Mw 8.6 and 8.2, 2012 East Indian Ocean earthquakes


The 2012 East Indian Ocean earthquake (Mw 8.6), so far the largest intraoceanic plate strike-slip event ever recorded, modulated tectonic tremors in the Cascadia subduction zone. The rate of tremor activity near Vancouver Island increased by about 1.5 times from its background level during the passage of seismic waves of this earthquake. In most cases of dynamic modulation, large-amplitude and long-period surface waves stimulate tremors. However, in this case even the small stress change caused by body waves generated by the 2012 earthquake modulated tremor activity. The tremor modulation continued during the passage of the surface waves, subsequent to which the tremor activity returned to background rates. Similar tremor modulation is observed during the passage of the teleseismic waves from the Mw 8.2 event, which occurs about 2 h later near the Mw 8.6 event. We show that dynamic stresses from back-to-back large teleseismic events can strongly influence tremor sources.

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