EARTH: Are slow-slip earthquakes under Tokyo stressing faults?

From EARTH Magazine  --  Tokyo, a city of more than 13 million people, has been devastated by earthquakes in the past and likely will be again. But when? And what role do ongoing slow-slip earthquakes - the kind that generally can't be felt at the surface - play in relieving or building up stress?

New research examining plate movements under Tokyo has found that since the massive magnitude-9 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, recurrence intervals for nondamaging slow-slip quakes beneath Japan's capital have shortened. That has left seismologists wondering if this aseismic creep could be signaling a countdown to Tokyo's next "big one." Read more about scientists' estimations of Tokyo's seismic risk in the August issue of EARTH Magazine.

For more stories about the science of our planet, check out EARTH magazine online or subscribe at www.earthmagazine.org. The August issue, now available on the digital newsstand, features stories about a Pompeii-like eruption that buried a group of dinosaurs, ancient seawater found beneath the Chesapeake Bay crater, and a geologic tour of Northern IrelandÕs Causeway Coast, plus much, much more.