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Open Access

Two-layer Q s structure of the slab near the southern Kurile trench

  • Takahiro Maeda18 and
  • Tsutomu Sasatani28
Earth, Planets and Space200658:BF03351952

Received: 16 June 2005

Accepted: 18 November 2005

Published: 12 May 2006


We estimate Qs values (quality factor for S-wave) of the slab near the southern Kurile trench by using seismic data observed at ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) stations from selected local earthquakes. The seismic rays pass mainly through the slab and this enable us to directly estimate the slab Qs values. The spectral inversion and coda normalization method are applied to these data. The estimated Qs values from the two methods are nearly the same and increase with frequencies. However, these Qs values are not high enough to explain the abnormal distribution of ground motion that has been recognized as abnormal distribution of seismic intensities at the Japanese arc. Thus we propose a two-layer Qs structure of the slab to explain the both facts, our slab Qs values and the abnormal distribution of ground motion. The two-layer Qs structure consists of the upper layer with not so high Qs values (39f1.0) and lower layer with very high Qs values (500f1.0); the upper layer has a thickness of about 50 km. Seismic activity is restricted only within the upper layer of the two-layer Qs structure. This may mean that the two-layer Qs structure reflects the different material property between the upper and lower layer of the slab.

Key words

Two-layer Q s structure of the slabSpectral inversion methodCoda normalization methodAbnormal distribution of seismic intensities