Lubricated earthquakes

It’s well known that tectonic plates can slip underneath another plate in subduction zones and that violent earthquakes occur when the plates stick and release. Research is revealing the frequency of potential earthquakes. If it weren’t for ‘lubricated’ sliding, British Columbia would have a major earthquake every fourteen months and Japan every six. I’m not sure whether the lubrication is from melting rock or from seawater or a bit of both.

A map of British Columbia's seacoast shows where earthquakes occur

Cascadia subduction zone

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