Open Access

Performance test of an automated moment tensor determination system for the future “Tokai” earthquake

Earth, Planets and Space201452:BF03352250

DOI: 10.1186/BF03352250

Received: 26 November 1999

Accepted: 19 May 2000

Published: 6 June 2014


We have investigated how the automated moment tensor determination (AMTD) system using the FREESIA/KIBAN broadband network is likely to behave during a future large earthquake. Because we do not have enough experience with a large (M > 8) nearby earthquake, we computed synthetic waveforms for such an event by assuming the geometrical configuration of the anticipated Tokai earthquake and several fault rupture scenarios. Using this synthetic data set, we examined the behavior of the AMTD system to learn how to prepare for such an event. For our synthetic Tokai event data we assume its focal mechanism, fault dimension, and scalar seismic moment. We also assume a circular rupture propagation with constant rupture velocity and dislocation rise time. Both uniform and heterogeneous slip models are tested. The results show that performance depends on both the hypocentral location (i.e. unilateral vs. bilateral) and the degree of heterogeneity of slip. In the tests that we have performed the rupture directivity appears to be more important than slip heterogeneity. We find that for such large earthquakes it is necessary to use stations at distances greater than 600 km and frequencies between 0.005 to 0.02 Hz to maintain a point-source assumption and to recover the full scalar seismic moment and radiation pattern. In order to confirm the result of the synthetic test, we have analyzed the 1993 Hokkaido Nansei-oki (MJ7.8) and the 1995 Kobe (MJ7.2) earthquakes by using observed broadband waveforms. For the Kobe earthquake we successfully recovered the moment tensor by using the routinely used frequency band (0.01–0.05 Hz displacements). However, we failed to estimate a correct solution for the Hokkaido Nansei-oki earthquake by using the same routine frequency band. In this case, we had to use the frequencies between 0.005 to 0.02 Hz to recover the moment tensor, confirming the validity of the synthetic test result for the Tokai earthquake.