Skip to main content

Advertisement

Repeating earthquakes and quasi-static slip on the plate boundary east off northern Honshu, Japan

Article metrics

  • 478 Accesses

  • 47 Citations

Abstract

We have investigated spatio-temporal variation in small repeating earthquake activity in the 1989 earthquake swarm and used them to infer quasi-static slip distribution on the plate boundary off Sanriku, northern Honshu, Japan. Seismicity and inferred quasi-static slip accelerations propagated to the west and to the south during the swarm activity to trigger the occurrence of the largest earthquake (M7.1). To explain the migration of the seismicity and inferred quasi-static slip acceleration, we propose a conceptual model named the ‘chain reaction model’ in which large earthquakes generate large afterslips and then the afterslips accelerate the ruptures of the nearby asperities to generate the next earthquakes which are also followed by large afterslips, and so on. The model is applicable to a plate boundary where asperities are located sparsely but the afterslip associated with the rupture of an asperity can reach nearby asperities. Aftershock area expansion, which is conspicuous off Sanriku, is also explained by the model. If we can evaluate the slip deficit of a large asperity correctly, we will be able to issue a warning of large earthquake occurrence in some areas when we detect the acceleration of quasi-static slip near the asperity although the prediction is inevitably probabilistic.

References

  1. Araki, E., M. Shinohara, S. Sacks, A. Linde, T. Kanazawa, H. Shiobara, H. Mikada, and K. Suyehiro, Improvement of seismic observation in the ocean by use of seafloor boreholes, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 94, 678–690, 2004.

  2. Beeler, N. M., D. L. Lockner, and S. H. Hickman, A simple stick-slip and creep-slip model for repeating earthquakes and its implication for microearthquakes at Parkfield, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 91, 1797–1804, 2001.

  3. Boatwright, J. and M. Cocco, Frictional constraints on crustal faulting, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 13895–13909, 1996.

  4. Dieterich, J., A constitutive law for rate of earthquake production and its application to earthquake clustering, J. Geophys. Res., 99, 2601–2618, 1994.

  5. Ellsworth, W. L., Characteristic earthquakes and long-term earthquake forecasts: implications of central California seismicity, in Urban Disaster Mitigation: The Role of Science and Technology, edited by F. Y. Cheng and M. S. Sheu, Elsevier, Oxford, 1995.

  6. Hino, R., T. Kanazawa, and A. Hasegawa, Interplate seismic activity near the northern Japan Trench deduced from ocean bottom and land-based seismic observations, Phys. Earth Planet. Inter., 93, 37–52, 1996.

  7. Hirose, H., K. Hirahara, F. Kimata, N. Fujii, and S. Miyazaki, A slow thrust slip event following the two 1996 Hyuganada earthquakes beneath the Bungo Channel, southwest Japan, Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 3237–3240, 1999.

  8. Igarashi, T., T. Matsuzawa, N. Umino, and A. Hasegawa, Spatial distribution of focal mechanisms for interplate and intraplate earthquakes associated with the subducting Pacific plate beneath the northeastern Japan arc: A triple-planed deep seismic zone, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 2177–2191, 2001.

  9. Igarashi, T., T. Matsuzawa, and A. Hasegawa, Repeating earthquakes and interplate aseismic slip in the northeastern Japan suduction zone, J. Geophys. Res., 108(B5), 2249, doi:10.1029/2002JB001920, 2003.

  10. Johnson, L. R. and R. M. Nadeau, Asperity model of an earthquake: Static problem, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 92, 672–686, 2002.

  11. Johnston, M. J. S. and A. T. Linde, Implication of crustal strain during conventional, slow, and silent earthquakes, in International Handbook of Earthquake and Engineering Seismology, Part A, edited by W. K. Lee, H. Kanamori, P. C. Jennings, and C. Kisslinger, pp. 589–605, Academic Press, San Diego, 2002.

  12. Kato, N. and T. Hirasawa, A numerical study on seismic coupling along subduction zones using a laboratory-derived friction law, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 102, 51–68, 1997.

  13. Kawasaki, I., Y. Asai, Y. Tamura, T. Sagiya, N. Mikami, Y. Okada, M. Sakata, and M. Kasahara, The 1992 Sanriku-Oki, Japan, Ultra-slow earthquake, J. Phys. Earth, 43, 105–116, 1995.

  14. Matsuzawa, T., T. Igarashi, and A. Hasegawa, Characteristic small earthquake sequence off Sanriku, Japan, Eos Trans. AGU, 80(46), F724, 1999.

  15. Matsuzawa, T., T. Igarashi, and A. Hasegawa, Characteristic smallearthquake sequence off Sanriku, northeastern Honshu, Japan, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(11), 1543, doi:10.1029/2001GL014632, 2002.

  16. Nadeau, R. M. and L. R. Johnson, Seismological studies at Parkfield VI: moment release rates and estimates of source parameters for small repeating earthquakes, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 88, 790–814, 1998.

  17. Nadeau, R. M. and T. V. McEvilly, Fault slip rates at depth from recurrence intervals of repeating microearthquakes, Science, 285, 718–721, 1999.

  18. Nakayama, W. and M. Takeo, Slip history of the 1994 Sanriku-Haruka-Oki, Japan, earthquake deduced from strong-motion data, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 87, 918–931, 1997.

  19. Nishimura, T., S. Miura, K. Tachibana, K. Hashimoto, T. Sato, S. Hori, E. Murakami, T. Kono, K. Nida, M. Mishina, T. Hirasawa, and Miyazaki, Distribution of seismic coupling on the subducting plate boundary in northeastern Japan inferred from GPS observations, Tectonophysics, 323, 217–238, 2000.

  20. Okada, T., T. Matsuzawa, and A. Hasegawa, Comparison of source areas of M4.8 ±0.1 repeating earthquakes off Kamaishi, NE Japan—Are asperities persistent features?, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 213, 361–374, 2003.

  21. Ozawa, S., M. Murakami, M. Kaidzu, T. Tada, T. Sagiya, Y. Hatanaka, H. Yarai, and T. Nishimura, Detection and Monitoring of Ongoing Aseismic Slip in the Tokai Region, Central Japan, Science, 298, 1009–1012, 2002.

  22. Schaff, D. P., G. C. Beroza, and B. E. Shaw, Postseismic response of repeating aftershocks, Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, 4549–4552, 1998.

  23. Seno, T., Fractal asperities, invasion of barriers, and interplate earthquakes, Earth Planets Space, 55, 649–665, 2003.

  24. Shibazaki, B. and M. Matsu’ura, Transition process from nucleation to highspeed rupture propagation: Scaling from stick-slip experiments to natural earthquakes, Geophys. J. Int., 132, 14–30, 1998.

  25. Spiess, F. N., C. D. Chadwell, J. A. Hildebrand, L. E. Young, G. H. Purcell, Jr., and H. Dragert, Precise GPS/Acoustic positioning of seafloor reference points for tectonic studies, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 108, 101–112, 1998.

  26. Stein, R. S., The role of stress transfer in earthquake occurrence, Nature, 402, 605–609, 1999.

  27. Tajima, F. and H. Kanamori, Global survey of aftershock area expansion patterns, Phys. Earth Planet. Int., 40, 77–134, 1985.

  28. Toda, S., R. S. Stein, and T. Sagiya, Evidence from the AD 2000 Izu islands earthquake swarm that stressing rate governs seismicity, Nature, 419, 58–61, 2002.

  29. Tse, S. T. and J. R. Rice, Crustal earthquake instability in relation to the depth variation of frictional slip properties, J. Geophys. Res., 91, 9452–9472, 1986.

  30. Uchida, N., T. Matsuzawa, A. Hasegawa, and T. Igarashi, Interplate quasistatic slip off Sanriku, NE Japan, estimated from repeating earthquakes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(15), 1801, doi:10.1029/2003GL017452, 2003a.

  31. Uchida, N., T. Matsuzawa, T. Igarashi, and A. Hasegawa, Fluctuation of recurrence intervals of ‘characteristic earthquake’ sequence off Kamaishi, NE Japan—Is it caused by slip rate change in the surrounding quasistatically slipping area?, Abst. IUGG2003, A.488, 2003b.

  32. Uchida, N., A. Hasegawa, T. Matsuzawa, and T. Igarashi, Pre- and postseismic slow slip on the plate boundary off Sanriku, NE Japan associated with three interplate earthquakes as estimated from small repeating earthquake data, Tectonophysics, 2004 (in press).

  33. Yamanaka, Y. and M. Kikuchi, Asperity map along the subduction zone in northeastern Japan inferred from regional seismic data, J. Geophys. Res., 2004 (in press).

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Toru Matsuzawa.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Matsuzawa, T., Uchida, N., Igarashi, T. et al. Repeating earthquakes and quasi-static slip on the plate boundary east off northern Honshu, Japan. Earth Planet Sp 56, 803–811 (2004) doi:10.1186/BF03353087

Download citation

Keywords

  • Large Earthquake
  • Plate Boundary
  • Earthquake Swarm
  • Interplate Earthquake
  • Swarm Activity