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  1. Abstract

    Like faults, landslides can slip slowly for decades or accelerate catastrophically. However, whereas experimentally derived friction laws provide mechanistically based explanations for similarly diverse behavior on faults, little monitoring exists over the temporal and spatial scales required to more clearly illuminate the mechanics of landslide friction. Here we show that displacement of an active slow landslide is accommodated primarily through mm‐scale stick‐slip events that recur on timescales of minutes to hours on asperities that are small (<100 m) relative to the landslide. The frequency of slip events tracks both landslide velocity and pore fluid pressure. The stick‐slip nature demonstrates by itself that slow slip is governed, at least in part, by velocity‐weakening frictional asperities. This observation, in combination with the sensitivity of slow slip to pore fluid pressure and the small relative scale of asperities, suggests similarities between slow slip in landslides and episodic slow slip along faults.

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  2. Abstract

    We constrain orientations of the horizontal stress field from borehole image data in a transect across the Hikurangi Subduction Margin. This region experiences NW‐SE convergence and is the site of recurrent slow slip events. The direction of the horizontal maximum stress is E‐W at an active splay thrust fault near the subduction margin trench. This trend changes to NNW‐SSE in a forearc trench slope basin on the offshore accretionary wedge, and to NE‐SW in the onshore forearc. Multiple, tectonic, and geological processes, either individually or in concert, may explain this variability. The observed offshore to onshore stress rotation may reflect a change from dominantly compressional tectonics at the deformation front, to a strike‐slip and/or extensional tectonic regime closer to the Taupo Volcanic Zone, further inland. In addition, the offshore stress may be affected by topography and/or stress rotation around subducting seamounts, and/or temporal stress changes during the slow slip cycle.

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