Open Access

Spatial distribution of atypical aftershocks of the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake

Earth, Planets and Space201454:BF03352441

Received: 21 December 2000

Accepted: 26 September 2002

Published: 21 June 2014


The 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake (MJMA 7.3) occurred on January 17, 1995. To reveal the detailed stress field after the mainshock, we relocate hypocenters of aftershocks (M ≥ 2.3) and determine their focal mechanisms using seismic records obtained by GROUPS-95, a temporary dense seismic network in and around the aftershock region. Along the mainshock rupture zone, some aftershocks are nearly N-S compression or normal fault type events, which is inconsistent with the regional stress field of approximately horizontal E-W compression. We call these aftershocks atypical, defined as events which have focal mechanisms with P-axis directions more than 45° from the regional stress field. The atypical aftershocks amount to about 17% of the total. No temporal variations in aftershock mechanism are found in the analysis period. Their spatial distribution is compared with the slip and stress distribution of the mainshock, as well as the P- and S-wave velocity structure. Most of them are located at the upper boundary between the slipped and unslipped zones of the mainshock. We suggest that the atypical aftershocks are caused by the disturbance of the local tectonic stress field due to the heterogeneous coseismic slip.