Open Access

Is the plastic flow uniformly distributed below the seismogenic region?

Earth, Planets and Space201454:BF03353306

Received: 30 December 2001

Accepted: 23 August 2002

Published: 26 June 2014


The cut-off depth of seismicity in and around the Nojima fault broken by the 1995 Kobe earthquake occurring in the intraplate Japan was compared with a brittle-ductile transition depth of the widely-accepted strength profile model of the crust. It was found that the cut-off depth is much deeper than the transition depth under the assumption that wet granite is deformed at a strain rate of 10−15/s. Such a small strain rate implies that the plastic flow is uniformly distributed below the seismogenic region. When the strain rate is assumed to be greater than 10−13, the cut-off depth can be attributed to the transition depth. This suggests that deformation is localized in a narrow fault zone below the seismogenic region even in the intraplate region.