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Megathrusts, faults at the interface between one tectonic plate overriding another, can generate large earthquakes and tsunamis. Here, we collate the latest research and opinion articles in Nature Geoscience that provide insights on these faults.


Plate boundary faults in subduction zones can generate large earthquakes and tsunamis. Recent studies have revealed that these faults slip in various ways and may be influenced by many factors. Better understanding them should improve hazard assessments.

Editorial | | Nature Geoscience

The morphology and geometry of the plate interface in a subduction zone is heterogeneous and influenced by lower-plate normal faulting, suggests an analysis of seismic data. These properties of subduction interfaces may influence how the largest earthquakes occur.

News & Views | | Nature Geoscience

A 32-year-long slow-slip event occurred on a shallow part of the Sunda megathrust, perhaps because of stress accumulation after fluid expulsion, according to an analysis of the deformation history of the area and physics-based simulations.

Article | | Nature Geoscience

Corals reveal that part of the plate-boundary fault near Sumatra slipped slowly and quietly for three decades before a large earthquake in 1861. The exceptional duration of this slip event has implications for interpreting deformation to assess seismic hazard.

News & Views | | Nature Geoscience

From the archives

Mature parts of the shallow megathrust beneath Costa Rica are characterized by striking corrugations that may channel fluids, according to seismic images. Nascent sections of the subduction zone plate boundary appear only weakly corrugated.

Article | | Nature Geoscience