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  • Letter
  • Open Access

Measuring ground deformations with 1-Hz GPS data: the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake (preliminary report)

Earth, Planets and Space201456:BF03353070

  • Received: 25 December 2003
  • Accepted: 8 March 2004
  • Published:


We analyzed 1-Hz GPS data observed at 14 stations of the GPS Earth Observation Network (GEONET) of the Geographical Survey Institute, Japan, associated with the 2003 M JMA 8.1 Tokachi-oki earthquake, which occurred at the Kurile Trench. The GPS stations are located 70–240 km away from the epicenter. GPS data clearly captured rapid co-seismic ground displacements. At a GPS station 70 km away from the epicenter, coseismic displacements started 15 seconds after the origin time, and after 40 seconds at the stations 240 km away. Observed displacement amplitude exceeded 20 cm at GPS sites 240 km away from the epicenter. Displacement amplitudes attenuate with time and distance from the epicenter, oscillating with periods of 40–60 seconds. We compared the 1-Hz GPS data and displacement seismogram integrated from strong ground motion data, which showed fairly good agreements. In spite of careful screening of 1-Hz GPS data during 30 minutes preceding the main shock, no significant preseismic deformation over 1 cm in the horizontal components was recorded. 30 second sampling GPS data at 14 sites during 20 hours preceding the main shock did not show any significant pre-seismic deformation, either. These results indicate that pre-seismic strain change, if any, was smaller than 0.5–1.0×10−7 before the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake.

Key words

  • 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake
  • 1-Hz GPS measurements
  • coseismic deformation
  • preseismic deformation