activation of splay faults rupturing in sedimentary prisms (Sanriku, Japan; Kurils),5 or rupture propagating in a jagged mode along poorly coupled interfaces in sediment-starved environments (Nicaragua, Peru).6 In turn, this raises the questions whether any subduction zone can be the site of a tsunami earthquake, and conversely whether the documented occurrence of such events (most often comparatively small in the magnitude 7.5 range) precludes the occurrence of mega-earthquakes as would be suggested by the available historical record in Nicaragua or Java. Despite active research efforts in this domain, we presently have no firm answers in this respect.
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2. Polet, J. and H. Kanamori. 2000. Shallow subduction zone earthquakes and their tsunamigenic potential. Geophysical Journal International 142(3):684-702.
3. Newman, A.V. and E.A. Okal. 1998. Teleseismic estimates of radiated seismic energy: The E/M0 discriminant for tsunami earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research 103(B11):26885-26898.
4. Weinstein, S.A. and E.A. Okal. 2005. The mantle wave magnitude Mm and the slowness parameter THETA: Five years of real-time use in the context of tsunami warning. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 95(3):779-799.
5. Tanioka, Y., L.J. Ruff, and K. Satake. 1997. What controls the lateral variation of large earthquake occurrence along the Japan trench?Island Arc 6(3):261-266.
6. Fukao, Y. 1979. Tsunami earthquakes and subduction processes near deep-sea trenches. Journal of Geophysical Research 84(B5):2303-2314.