A 15 year slow-slip event on the Sunda megathrust offshore Sumatra

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 42, Issue 16, p.6630-6638 (2015)


In the Banyak Islands of Sumatra, coral microatoll records reveal a 15 year-long reversal of interseismic vertical displacement from subsidence to uplift between 1966 and 1981. To explain these coral observations, we test four hypotheses, including regional sea level changes and various tectonic mechanisms. Our results show that the coral observations likely reflect a 15 year-long slow-slip event (SSE) on the Sunda megathrust. This long-duration SSE exceeds the duration of previously reported SSEs and demonstrates the importance of multidecade geodetic records in illuminating the full spectrum of megathrust slip behavior at subduction zones.