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Very low frequency earthquakes in Cascadia migrate with tremor


We find very low frequency earthquakes (VLFEs) in Cascadia under northern Washington during 2011 episodic tremor and slip event. VLFEs are rich in low-frequency energy (20-50s) and depleted in higher frequencies (higher than 1Hz) compared to local earthquakes. Based on a grid search centroid moment tensor inversion, we find that VLFEs are located near the plate interface in the zone where tremor and slow slip are observed. In addition, they migrate along strike with tremor activity. Their moment tensor solutions show double-couple sources with shallow thrust mechanisms, consistent with shear slip at the plate interface. Their magnitude ranges between Mw 3.3 and 3.7. Seismic moment released by a single VLFE is comparable to the total cumulative moment released by tremor activity during an entire episodic tremor and slip event. The VLFEs contribute more seismic moment to this episodic tremor and slip event than cumulative tremor activity and indicate a higher seismic efficiency of slow earthquakes in Cascadia than previously thought. Spatiotemporal correlation of VLFE and tremor activity suggests that they are the results of the same physical processes governing slow earthquakes. Key Points Systematic search reveals very low frequency earthquakes (VLFEs) in Cascadia VLFEs are associated with tremor and migrate with it in space and time VLFEs cluster near the peak slip during episodic tremor and slip event

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