We investigate the relationship between high-precision hypocentres in the subducting Juan de Fuca plate beneath southwest British Columbia, and the velocity structure from receiver function analysis and reflection seismic data. 108 earthquakes at depths of 40 to 65 km were relocated using a double-difference algorithm to obtain precise earthquake locations. Correlation of the relocated seismicity with structural information shows a concentration of earthquakes near the top of the subducting oceanic crust, and a deeper layer of seismicity in the uppermost mantle of the subducting Juan de Fuca plate. The strong correlation of the seismicity with the structure of the subducting plate suggests that seismic failure is caused by changes in mechanical strength within the plate, supporting the hypotheses that phase transformations and thermal-petrological conditions play an important role in the seismogenesis of double-seismic zones.
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