Open Access

Resistivity structure around the focal area of the 2004 Rumoi-Nanbu earthquake (M 6.1), northern Hokkaido, Japan

Earth, Planets and Space200860:BF03352841

DOI: 10.1186/BF03352841

Received: 2 March 2007

Accepted: 14 May 2008

Published: 8 September 2008


The Rumoi-Nanbu earthquake (M 6.1) occurred in northern Hokkaido, Japan, on December 14, 2004. We conducted MT surveys along three profiles in and around the focal area to delineate and decipher the structural features of the seismogenic zone. The inverted 2-D resistivity images of the three sections comprised two layers: an upper conductive layer and a lower resistive layer. The boundary of these layers lay at a depth of approximately 3–5 km. A comparison with the surface geology and drilling data revealed that the upper conductive layer and the lower resistive layer corresponded to the Cretaceous—Tertiary sedimentary rocks and older basement rocks, respectively. A clear upheaval of the layer boundary was found along the profile at the center of the focal area. In addition, borehole data indicated an obvious increase in the Young’s modulus toward the lower layer. Therefore, the elastic properties with a complex geometry around the focal zone tended to vary; this probably depicts the zone of stress accumulation that triggered the earthquake.

Key words

Magnetotellurics stress concentration intraplate earthquake northern Hokkaido