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Volume 56 Supplement 2

Special Issue: Special section for IUGG workshop: Lithospheric Structure of a Supercontinent:Gondwana

Source processes of the foreshock, mainshock and largest aftershock in the 2003 Miyagi-ken Hokubu, Japan, earthquake sequence


The waveform inversions for the 2003 Miyagi-ken Hokubu earthquake sequence were performed using strong-motion records to determine the source processes. We carried out the inversions for the foreshock (M5.6), the mainshock (M6.4) and the largest aftershock (M5.5), respectively. The strong-motion waveforms observed at 10 stations from KiK-net and K-NET within about 70 km epicentral distance were used. The mainshock is composed of two subplanes dipping toward west. The strike direction of the south subplane is NE-SW and that of the north subplane is almost N-S. The fault plane of the foreshock is almost the same as that of the south subplane of the mainshock, but the strike direction of the largest aftershock is NW-SE. The asperities of the three earthquakes are not overlapped strongly each other and it is considered that this earthquake sequence is a result of seismic activity on a reverse fault, which is curved along strike, with time lags. The shallow asperity of the mainshock may result in specific distributions of damage and high accelerations.


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Correspondence to Kazuhito Hikima.

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Hikima, K., Koketsu, K. Source processes of the foreshock, mainshock and largest aftershock in the 2003 Miyagi-ken Hokubu, Japan, earthquake sequence. Earth Planet Sp 56, 87–93 (2004).

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Key words

  • Source process
  • waveform inversion
  • strong motion
  • earthquake sequence