A preliminary catalogue of Hikurangi, New Zealand, Slow Slip Earthquakes, from January 2000 to February 2014
This thesis documents processing carried out on cGPS data from 115 sites in the North Island and the top of the South Island of New Zealand in order to produce a catalogue of slow slip events (SSEs) for the Hikurangi Margin covering the period Jan 2000 to Feb 2014. It covers the background to the concept of SSEs and the reporting to date on their occurrence along the Margin, the methods used in the processing and analysis, the results of each significant step, and discussion of the results. It has been shown that the processing route adopted in this work has reduced the average noise levels in the cGPS data by up to 67%, and has eliminated virtually all correlated (“pink”) noise, thus enabling the detection of small-amplitude events (~ 2mm in cGPS signals). One hundred and fifty events are catalogued in total, of which 137 are considered likely to be SSEs or similar. The catalogue includes estimates of the uncertainty in each parameter and is thus considered the most comprehensive to date. Sixteen of the inversion results were able to be directly compared with published information and showed satisfactory agreement on location and equivalent moment magnitudes. The important aspects of the project that have been developed further than has been documented to date in the literature include: partitioning of the secular velocity field over the margin to allow the underlying tectonic signal to be better understood; detailed characterization of the temporal evolution of the SSEs; the identification of approximately 40 events that show slips in the opposite direction to that expected; and some preliminary conclusions concerning event scaling. One of the objectives of the project was to identify whether there were fundamental differences in the characteristics of SSEs in the northeast and southwest of the margin. On the basis of the analyses to date, it appears that the events form a continuum, at least in terms of depth, temporal evolution, source slip rates and scaling, but in general terms the events in the southwest have been confirmed to be of longer duration than those in the northeast. The project has identified further work that needs to be carried out or is ongoing in order to maximize the value of these new results.