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  • Letter
  • Open Access

Characteristics of deformation structure around the 2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki earthquake detected by multi-channel seismic reflection imaging

Earth, Planets and Space200961:BF03352961

Received: 9 October 2008

Accepted: 2 June 2009

Published: 10 November 2009


A multi-channel seismic reflection (MCS) survey was conducted to investigate the tectonic structure off Niigata, which caused the 2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki earthquake, using the research vessel (R/V) KAIREI of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. Based on the results of data processing and interpretation of available data, three areas are identified according to seismic characteristics. The most deformed area is located on the continental shelf near the source region of the 2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki earthquake, i.e., the area east of the Yoneyama-Ogi Uplifts. A remarkable growth of folds, including fault-related folds, and a strong reflector dipping east is identifiable by localized strain concentrations. The second area is located between the Yoneyama-Ogi Uplifts and the Jouetsu Knoll in the Toyama Trough. Although the deformation of deposits in the second area was smaller than in the first area, folds are identified. The third area is located toward the west of the Jouetsu Knoll in the Toyama Trough. No significant deformed structures developed in this area. Based on the interpretation of stratigraphy obtained in previous studies, seismic characteristics, and well data, the development of an anticline was initiated by a compression field after about 3.6 Ma. In particular, the deformation of sedimentary layers by the compression field occurred rapidly after about 1.3 Ma. Folds have grown larger toward the east after about 1.3 Ma. In addition, subsidence of about 0.2 s in sedimentary layers can be seen at the western margin of the Yoneyama-Ogi Uplifts, suggesting that tectonic movement related to reverse faulting has advanced there very recently. From aftershock distribution on a depth section on line S-2 near the hypocentral region, most hypocenters were determined to be below the strong reflector. This result suggests that fold growth has accompanied past large earthquakes, such as the 2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki earthquake.

Key words

  • 2007 Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki earthquake
  • multi-channel seismic reflection
  • deformation structure