Open Access

The 2004 sequence of triggered earthquakes off the Kii peninsula, Japan

Earth, Planets and Space201457:BF03352569

Received: 4 December 2004

Accepted: 5 April 2005

Published: 24 June 2014


We examine the spatial and temporal relationships of the sequence of strong earthquakes that occurred off the Kii Peninsula, Japan, on 5 September 2004. The first event (Mj 7.1) occurred at 10:07:08 (UTC) on a northward dipping plane within the subducting Philippine Sea plate. From 10:16 to 14:47 the seismicity shows a group of earthquakes (Mj 3.2 to 4.8) 35 km to the east which are regarded as foreshocks to the second large earthquake. At 14:57:17, a Mw 6.1 strike-slip event occurred on a northwest trending plane. Some 14 seconds later, a large (Mj 7.4) thrust earthquake started 4.2 km southeast of the initial epicenter of the second earthquake. This largest earthquake is thought to have occurred on a southward dipping plane with the strike in an east-southeastly direction. Using the geometry of faults determined in this study, calculations of the Coulomb failure function show that simple static stress changes do not provide a good explanation for the triggering of the subsequent earthquakes.

Key words

Kii PeninsulaNankai Troughslip distributionstatic stresstriggeringforeshocks