Open Access

Rupture process of the 2007 Chuetsu-oki, Niigata, Japan, earthquake—Waveform inversion using empirical Green’s functions—

Earth, Planets and Space200860:BF03352874

Received: 3 December 2007

Accepted: 15 June 2008

Published: 10 December 2008


A waveform inversion was conducted to reveal the rupture process of the 2007 Chuetsu-oki, Niigata, Japan, earthquake using near-source strong ground motion records. Based on recent results on the re-location of the aftershocks, a southeast-dipping fault plane was assumed. Aftershock records were used as empirical Green’s functions to avoid uncertainty in subsurface structure in and around the source region for the calculation of Green’s functions. To ensure that the path and the site effects are shared between ground motions from the mainshock and those from the aftershocks, the mainshock fault plane was divided into three domains, each of which was allocated to one of the aftershocks used. Based on the results of the inversion, a major distinctive asperity was identified approximately 20 km southwest of the hypocenter, near Kashiwazaki City. A minor, rather obscure asperity was recognizable between the hypocenter and the major asperity. The rupture continued approximately 10 s. Agreement between the observed and synthetic ground motions is quite satisfactory, not only for the portions used for the inversion but also for the later phases. The rupture of the main asperity, which is close to Kashiwazaki City, may be a primary reason for the large amplitude ground motion and damage in Kashiwazaki City.

Key words

Chuetsu-oki earthquake waveform inversion rupture process empirical Green’s functions aftershock mainshock