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/ www.sciencexpress.org / 19 May 2011 / Page 1 / 10.1126/science.1206731 Geophysical observations from the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-
 

Summary: / www.sciencexpress.org / 19 May 2011 / Page 1 / 10.1126/science.1206731
Geophysical observations from the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-
Oki, Japan earthquake allow exploration of a rare large
event along a subduction megathrust. Models for this
event indicate that the distribution of coseismic fault slip
exceeded 50 m in places. Sources of high-frequency
seismic waves delineate the edges of the deepest portions
of coseismic slip and do not simply correlate with the
locations of peak slip. Relative to the Mw 8.8 2010 Maule,
Chile earthquake, the Tohoku-Oki earthquake was
deficient in high-frequency seismic radiation--a
difference that we attribute to its relatively shallow depth.
Estimates of total fault slip and surface secular strain
accumulation on millennial time scales suggest the need to
consider the potential for a future large earthquake just
south of this event.
The 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake occurred on the megathrust
where the Pacific Plate subducts below Japan at an average
rate of about 8 to 8.5 cm/yr (Fig. 1) (1). Historically, many
Mw 7 to Mw 8 earthquakes have occurred on the Japan Trench

  

Source: Ampuero, Jean Paul - Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology
Simons, Mark - Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology

 

Collections: Geosciences