Skip to main content

Spatial variations in the frequency-magnitude distribution of earthquakes in the southwestern Okinawa Trough

Abstract

The relations between the frequency of occurrence and the magnitude of earthquakes are established in the southern Okinawa Trough for 2823 relocated earthquakes recorded during a passive ocean bottom seismometer experiment. Three high b-values areas are identified: (1) for an area offshore of the Ilan Plain, south of the andesitic Kueishantao Island from a depth of 50 km to the surface, thereby confirming the subduction component of the island andesites; (2) for a body lying along the 123.3°E meridian at depths ranging from 0 to 50 km that may reflect the high temperature inflow rising up from a slab tear; (3) for a third cylindrical body about 15 km in diameter beneath the Cross Backarc Volcanic Trail, at depths ranging from 0 to 15 km. This anomaly might be related to the presence of a magma chamber at the base of the crust already evidenced by tomographic and geochemical results. The high b-values are generally linked to magmatic and geothermal activities, although most of the seismicity is linked to normal faulting processes in the southern Okinawa Trough.

References

  • Aki, K., Maximum likelihood estimate of b in the formula logN=a-bM and its confidence limits, Bull. Earthq. Res. Inst., Tokyo Univ., 43, 237–239, 1965.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bender, B., Maximum likelihood estimation of b-values for magnitude grouped data, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 73, 831–851, 1983.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chang, T.-Y., J.-C. Sibuet, C.-S. Lee, and J.-Y. Lin, Tremors in the Southwestern Okinawa Trough., Tectonophysics, 2006 (submitted).

    Google Scholar 

  • Chen, C. H., T. Lee, Y. N. Hsieh, C.-H. Chen, and W. Y. Hsu, Magmatism at the onset of back arc basin spreading in Okinawa Trough, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 69, 313–322, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Engdahl, E. R., R. D. Van der Hilst, and R. P. Buland, Global teleseismic earthquake relocation with improved travel times and procedures for depth determination, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 88, 722–743, 1998.

    Google Scholar 

  • Font, Y., S. Lallemand, and J. Angelier, Etude de la transition entre l’orogène actif de Taiwan et la subduction des Ryukyu—Apport de la sismicité, Bull. Soc. Géol. Fr., 170, 271–283, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fournier, M., O. Fabbri, J. Angelier, and J.-P. Cadet, Regional seismicity and on-land deformation in the Ryukyu Arc: Implications for the kinematics of opening of the Okinawa Trough, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 13,751–13,768, 2001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frohlich, C. and S. Davis, Teleseismic b values: Or, much ado about 1.0, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 631–644, 1993.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Glasby, G. P. and K. Notsu, Submarine hydrothermal mineralization in the Okinawa Trough, SW Japan: an overview, Ore. Geol. Rev., 23 (3–4), 299–339, 2003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gutenberg, R. and C. F. Richter, Frequency of earthquakes in California, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 34, 185–188, 1944.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hsu, S.-K., J.-C. Sibuet, and C.-T. Shyu, Magnetic inversion of the East China Sea and Okinawa Trough: Tectonic implications, Tectonophysics, 333, 111–122, 2001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ishimoto, M. and K. Iida, Observations of earthquakes registered with the microseismograph constructed recently, Bull. Earthq. Res. Inst., 17, 443–478, 1939.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kao, H. and P.-R. Jian, Seismogenic patterns in the Taiwan region: Insights from source parameter inversion of BATS data, Tectonophysics, 333, 179–198, 2001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kissling, E., W. L. Ellsworth, D. Eberhart-Phillips, and U. Kradolfer. Initial reference models in local earthquake tomography, J. Geophys. Res., 99, 19635–19646, 1994.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kubo, A. and E. Fukuyama, Stress field along the Okinawa Trough and the Ryukyu Arc inferred from moment tensors of shallow earthquakes, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 210, 305–316, 2003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, Y. L., The study of active submarine volcanoes and hydrothermal vents in the southernmost part of Okinawa Trough, Master thesis, National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan, 45 pp, 2005 (in Chinese).

    Google Scholar 

  • Lin, J.-Y., S.-K. Hsu, and J.-C. Sibuet, Melting features along the Ryukyu slab tear, beneath the southwestern Okinawa Trough, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L19607, doi:10.1029/2004GL020862, 2004a.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lin, J.-Y., S.-K. Hsu, and J.-C. Sibuet, Melting features along the western Ryukyu slab edge (northeast Taiwan): Tomographic evidence, J. Geo-phys. Res., 109, B12402, doi:10.1029/2004JB003260, 2004b.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lin, J.-Y., J.-C. Sibuet, C. S. Lee, S.-K. Hsu, and F. Klingelhoefer, Origin of the southern Okinawa Trough volcanism from detailed seismic tomography, J. Geophys. Res., 2006a (accepted).

    Google Scholar 

  • Lin, J.-Y., J.-C. Sibuet, C. S. Lee, S.-K. Hsu, F. Klingelhoefer, Y. Auffret, P. Pelleau, and J. Crozon. Microseisismicity and faulting in the southwestern Okinawa Trough, Tectonophysics, 2006b (revised).

    Google Scholar 

  • Murru, M., C. Montuori, M. Wyss, and E. Privitera, The location of magma chambers at Mt. Etna, Italy, mapped by b-values, Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 2553–2556, 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Power, J. A., M. Wyss, and J. L. Latchman, Spatial variations in frequency-magnitude distribution of earthquakes at Soufrière Hills volcano, Montserrat, West Indies, Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, 3653–3656, 1998.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Reyners, M., D. Eberhart-Phillips, G. Stuart, and Y. Nishimura, Imaging subduction from the trench to 300 km depth beneath the central North Island, New Zealand, with Vp and Vp/Vs, Geophys. J. Int., 165(2), 565–583, 2006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scholz, C. H., The frequency-magnitude relation of microfracturing in rock and its relation to earthquakes, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 58, 399–415, 1968.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schorlemmer, D., S. Wiemer, and M. Wyss, Wariations in earthquake-size distribution across different stress regimes, Nature, 437, doi:10.1038/nature04094, 2005.

  • Shaw, B. E., Frictional weakening and slip complexity in earthquake faults, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 18,239–18,252, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shinjo, R., S. Hokakubo, S. Haraguchi, T. Matsumoto, and J. Woodhead, Geochemical characteristics of volcanic rocks from the southern Okinawa Trough and its implications for tectonomagmatic evolution, EOS Trans. AGU, 84(46), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract V31E-0973, 2003a.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shinjo, R., S. Hokakubo, S. Haraguchi, and T. Matsumoto, Regional variation in geochemistry of volcanic rocks from the southern Okinawa Trough, Earth Mon., 43, 21–26, 2003b (in Japanese).

    Google Scholar 

  • Sibuet, J.-C., B. Deffontaines, S.-K. Hsu, N. Thareau, J.-P. Le Formal, and C.-S. Liu, The southwestern Okinawa Trough back-arc basin: Tectonics and volcanism., J. Geophys. Res., 103, 30,245–30,267, 1998.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sibuet, J.-C. and S.-K. Hsu, How was Taiwan created?, Tectonophysics, 379, 159–181, 2004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thurber, C. H. and D. Eberhart-Phillips, Local earthquake tomography with flexible gridding, Comput. Geosci., 25, 809–818, 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Urbancic, T. I., C. I. Trifu, J. M. Long, and R. P. Toung, Space-time correlations of b-values with stress release, PAGEOPH, 139, 449–462, 1992.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, C., M.-L. Yang, C.-P. Chou, Y.-C. Chang, and C.-S. Lee, Westward extension of the Okinawa Trough and its western end in the northern Taiwan area: Bathymetric and seismological evidence, Terr. Atm. Oc. Sci., 372, 167–177, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  • Warren, N. W. and G. V. Latham, An experimental study of thermally induced microfracturing and its relation to volcanic seismicity, J. Geo-phys. Res., 75, 4455–4464, 1970.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Watanabe, T., Effects of water and melt on seismic velocities and their application to characterization of seismic reflectors, Geophys. Res. Lett., 20, 2933–2936, 1993.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wessel, P. and W. M. F. Smith, Free software helps map and display data, EOS Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, 72, 441–446, 1991.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wiemer, S., A software package to analyze seismicity: ZMAP, Seismol. Res. Lett., 72, 373–382, 2001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wiemer, S. and M. Wyss, Seismic quiescence before the 1993 M=7.5 Landers and M=6.5 Big Bear (California) earthquakes, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 84, 900–916, 1994.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wiemer, S. and M. Wyss, Mapping the frequency-magnitude distribution in asperities: An improved technique to calculate recurrence times?, J. Geophys. Res., 102, 15,115–15,128, 1997.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wiemer, S. and M. Wyss, Mapping spatial variability of the frequency-magnitude distribution of earthquakes, Adv. Geophys., 45, 259–302, 2002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wiemer, S., S. R. McNutt, and M. Wyss, Temporal and three-dimensional spatial analysis of the frequency-magnitude distribution near Long Valley caldera, California, Geophys. J. Int., 134, 409–421, 1998.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wyss, M., Towards a physical understanding of the earthquake frequency distribution, Geophys. J. R. Astr. Soc., 31, 341–359, 1973.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jing-Yi Lin.

Rights and permissions

Open Access  This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lin, JY., Sibuet, JC., Lee, CS. et al. Spatial variations in the frequency-magnitude distribution of earthquakes in the southwestern Okinawa Trough. Earth Planet Sp 59, 221–225 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03353098

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03353098

Key words

  • b-Values
  • southern Okinawa Trough backarc basin
  • slab tear
  • magma chamber