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Open Access

Three-dimensional velocity structure in the source region of the Noto Hanto Earthquake in 2007 imaged by a dense seismic observation

  • Aitaro Kato15Email author,
  • Shinichi Sakai15,
  • Takashi Iidaka15,
  • Takaya Iwasaki15,
  • Eiji Kurashimo15,
  • Toshihiro Igarashi15,
  • Naoshi Hirata15,
  • Toshihiko Kanazawa15 and
  • Group for the aftershock observations of the 2007 Noto Hanto Earthquake
Earth, Planets and Space200860:BF03352769

Received: 30 June 2007

Accepted: 15 October 2007

Published: 19 February 2008


The velocity structure and accurate aftershock distributions of the Noto Hanto Earthquake in 2007 (thrust type) are elucidated by inverting the arrival times from 917 aftershocks using double-difference tomography. P-wave velocity (V p ) of the hanging wall in the southeast appears to be higher than that of the footwall in the northwest, and the high-V p body of the hanging wall has a relatively high V p /V s ratio. Conversely, the low-V p body in the footwall appears to have a low V p /V s ratio at depths greater than 3 km. Aftershocks associated with the mainshock fault are roughly distributed along this velocity boundary between the hanging wall and footwall. Near-surface thin layers with significantly low V p and high V p /V s are imaged in a northwest direction from the mainshock epicenter. A likely explanation is that the mainshock fault plane was reactivated as a reverse fault in terms of the inversion tectonics due to the crustal shortening which initiated from the late Miocene. Both the mainshock hypocenter and the vertical alignment of aftershocks beneath it are located in the low-V p and low-V p /V s zones, indicating the potential presence of water-filled pores. Crustal stretching and shortening in and around the Noto Peninsula have created complex structures, including weak high-dip angle faults, almost vertical faults, and low velocity zones, which can potentially affect the seismic activities around the source region.

Key words

Tomographythe Noto Hanto Earthquake in 2007aftershocksinversion tectonics