Open Access

Fault model of the 2007 Noto Hanto earthquake estimated from coseismic deformation obtained by the distribution of littoral organisms and GPS: Implication for neotectonics in the northwestern Noto Peninsula

  • Yoshihiro Hiramatsu12Email author,
  • Kazuyoshi Moriya22,
  • Takahiro Kamiya12,
  • Michio Kato12 and
  • Takuya Nishimura32
Earth, Planets and Space200860:BF03352846

Received: 5 September 2007

Accepted: 1 July 2008

Published: 15 October 2008


We investigate the coseismic vertical crustal movement along the northern and western coast of the Noto Peninsula caused by the Noto Hanto earthquake on March 25, 2007, from the distribution of supra-, mid- and infra-littoral organisms. The highest uplift of 44 cm is observed at Akakami and the maximum subsidence of 8 cm at Fukami. We construct a rectangular fault model with a uniform slip in elastic half-space using both the coseismic vertical displacement estimated from the distribution of these organisms and the coseismic crustal deformation obtained by GPS. The model shows a reverse fault with a right-lateral slip of 1.3 m in a 18.6 km×14.5 km area. The seismic moment is 1.0×1019 N m (MW 6.6) using a rigidity of 30 GPa. The geometry of the source fault is consistent with the distribution of aftershocks and active faults, and the fault is restricted to the central area of the aftershock area. Relationships among the fault, the distribution of aftershocks, active faults, and geological blocks around the source area suggest that geological structures restrict the fault size of the earthquake. By considering an inclined altitudinal distribution of marine terraces and the coseismic vertical crustal deformation detected in this study, we estimate that the recurrence of earthquakes during the past 120 kyr would produce a vertical crustal deformation of ≈12 m and the background tectonic uplift would reach ≈28 m.

Key words

Noto Hanto earthquakeupliftmidlittoral organismgeological structurefault modelactive fault