Creeping faults: Good news, bad news?

Kate Huihsuan Chen*, Roland Bürgmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The motion of the Earth's tectonic plates drive fault slip. Some faults slip in sudden movements, releasing great amounts of energy during large earthquake ruptures, while others slip in steadier movements which release energy more slowly. The latter, known as creeping faults, are believed to be less hazardous but there is mounting evidence that they are more complex than previously thought and can also pose a significant hazard. A recent review by Harris [2017] documents the earthquake potential of creeping faults in shallow continental fault zones from worldwide data. She presents a comprehensive review of prior studies; key insights into when, where, and why fault creep takes place and under which conditions creeping faults may represent high seismic hazard and suggests some directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-286
Number of pages5
JournalReviews of Geophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1


  • creeping fault
  • earthquake potential
  • earthquake rupture
  • strong motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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