Collaborative Research: Unraveling the habitat and dynamics of slow slip events through integrated borehole observations in the northern Hikurangi subduction margin

Project: Research project

Project Details


Subduction zone plate boundaries, where one tectonic plate dives or subducts beneath another tectonic plate produce the world's largest earthquakes and tsunami, as starkly demonstrated by the M9.2 Indian Ocean earthquake in 2004, and the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake offshore northern Japan. Recently, scientists have recognized that subduction megathrust faults undergo slip in episodic slow-motion earthquakes, or slow slip events lasting days to months. In some cases, slow slip events have been observed to precede (and possibly trigger) major subduction earthquakes, increasing the need to understand them. Slow slip events occurring close to Earth's surface (

Slow slip events (SSEs) involve transient aseismic slip on a fault (lasting weeks to months) at sliding velocities intermediate between plate boundary displacement rates and those required to generate seismic waves. The physical mechanisms leading to SSEs, their role in plate boundary strain accumulation and release, and their relationship to destructive seismic slip on subduction thrusts are poorly known, due in part to the fact that most well-studied subduction zone SSEs occur far too deep for near-field investigations. A notable exception to this is the northern Hikurangi subduction zone, New Zealand, where well-characterized SSEs occur within

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date2/15/221/31/25


  • National Science Foundation: $339,199.00


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