Skip to main content

Volume 57 Supplement 4

Special Issue: Special Section for the 2004 off the Kii peninsula earthquakes (2)

Receiver function images of the central Chugoku region in the Japanese islands using Hi-net data


Crustal configuration of the central Chugoku region with disposition of the Philippine Sea Plate (PHS) in this area are investigated through the receiver function approach using short-period Hi-net data. Images of the upper mantle discontinuities are also obtained. Restituted short-period receiver functions bring out discernible variations in average composition of the crust and its thickness in the study region. The Vp/Vs values in the study area are generally high, reaching values in excess of 1.85 at a few places. The central part of the study region showing the highest Vp/Vs values is coincidentally a subregion of least seismicity, possibly bestowed with special subsurface structure. Migrated receiver function images, both Ps and Pps images, unambiguously trace the NW subducting PHS taking a steeper plunge in the northwest part of the Chugoku region reaching depths of 70 km from its low dip disposition in the southeast. An excellent correlation of the subducting PHS with the hypocenters is also seen. We demonstrate that short-period data after restitution and application of appropriate low pass filters can indeed detect presence of the global 410-km and 660-km discontinuities and map their disposition reasonably well. Our migrated receiver functions image the deflections in the 410-km and 660-km discontinuities in an anti-correlated fashion on expected lines of Clapeyron slope predictions induced by subduction of the Pacific plate (PAC) beneath Japanese islands, though PAC itself is feebly traced but shows good correlation with slab seismicity.


  • Ito, E. and E. Takahashi, Postspinel transformations in the system Mg2SiO4-Fe2SiO4 and some geophysical implications, J. Geophys. Res., 94, 15663–15670, 1989.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Katsura, T. and E. Ito, The system Mg2SiO4-Fe2SiO4 at high pressures and temperatures: Precise determination of stabilities of olivine, modified spinel, and spinel, J. Geophys. Res., 94, 15663–15670, 1989.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kind, R., G. L. Kosarev, and N. V. Petersen, Receiver functions at the stations of the German Regional Seismic Network (GRSN), Geophys. J. Int., 121, 191–202, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, X., S. V. Sobolev, R. Kind, X. Yuan, and Ch. Estabrook, A detailed receiver function image of the uppermantle discontinuities in the Japan subduction zone, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 183, 527–541, 2000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nakamura, M., H. Watanabe, T. Konomi, S. Kimura, and K. Miura, Characteristic activities of subcrustal earthquakes along the outer zone of southwestern Japan, Annuals of Disas. Prev. Res. Inst., Kyoto Univ., 40(B-1), 1997 (in Japanese).

    Google Scholar 

  • Obara, K., Hi-net: High sensitivity seismograph network, Japan, in Methods and Applications of Signal Processing in Seismic Network Operations, edited by T. Takanami and G. Kitagawa, Springer, 266 pp., 79–88, 2002.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sagiya, T., S. Miyazaki, and T. Tada, Continuous GPS Array and present-day crustal deformation of Japan, Pure and App. Geophysics, 157, 2303–2322, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shiomi, K., H. Sato, K. Obara, and M. Ohtake, Configuration of subducting Philippine Sea plate beneath southwest Japan revealed from receiver function analysis based on the multivariate autoregressive model, J. Geophys. Res., 109, B04308, doi:10.1029/2003JB002774, 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tada, A., Receiver function imaging of crust and upper mantle discontinuities beneath the Japan Islands, M.Sc. Dissertation thesis of the Department of Earth and planetary Sciences, Nagoya University, 2001.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tonegawa, T., K. Hirahara, and T. Shibutani, Detailed structure of the upper mantle discontinuities around the Japan subduction zone imaged by receiver function analyses, Earth Planets Space, 57, 5–14, 2005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vinnik, L. P., Detection of waves converted from P to SV in the mantle, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 15, 294–303, 1977.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yamauchi, M., K. Hirahara, and T. Shibutani, High resolution receiver function imaging of the seismic velocity discontinuities in the crust and the uppermost mantle beneath southwest Japan, Earth Planets Space, 55, 59–64, 2003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yuan, X., J. Ni, R. Kind, J. Mechi, and E. Sandvol, Lithospheric and upper mantle structure of southern Tibet from a passive source experiment, J. Geophys. Res., 102, 27,491–27,500, 1997.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yuan, X. et al., Subduction and collision processes in the central Andes constrained by converted seismic phases, Nature, 408, 958–961, 2000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zandt, G. and C. J. Ammon, Continental crust composition constrained by measurements of crustal Poisson’s ratio, Nature, 374, 152–154, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhao, D., A. Hasegawa, and H. Kanamori, Deep structure of Japan sub-duction zone as derived from local and teleseismic events, J. Geophys. Res., 99, 22,313–22,329, 1994.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhu, L. and H. Kanamori, Moho depth variation in southern California from teleseismic receiver functions, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 2969–2980, 2000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to D. S. Ramesh.

Rights and permissions

Open Access  This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ramesh, D.S., Kawakatsu, H., Watada, S. et al. Receiver function images of the central Chugoku region in the Japanese islands using Hi-net data. Earth Planet Sp 57, 271–280 (2005).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words

  • Central Chugoku
  • Hi-Net
  • Japan
  • Migration
  • Receiver Functions
  • Short period data