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Authors: Silverii, F.* 
Cheloni, D.* 
D'Agostino, N.* 
Selvaggi, G.* 
Boschi, E.* 
Title: Post-seismic slip of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake from GPS observations: implications for depth-dependent properties of subduction megathrusts
Issue Date: 29-Jun-2014
Series/Report no.: /198 (2014)
DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggu149
Keywords: Satellite geodesy; Seismic cycle; Earthquake source observations; Subduction zone processes
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.01. Earthquake faults: properties and evolution 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.03. Earthquake source and dynamics 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.04. Plate boundaries, motion, and tectonics 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.06. Subduction related processes 
Abstract: Here we inverted the GPS data to infer the coseismic slip of the Tohoku-Oki earthquake and the time-dependent afterslip distribution in the 4 months following the main shock. The Tohoku-Oki earthquake showed an unexpected magnitude and a characteristic depth-dependent differentiation of seismic energy radiation. In this context the estimation and comparison of the distribution of the fault portions that slip coseismically and post-seismically contribute to a better understanding of the variation of frictional characteristics of the plate interface. The inferred coseismic slip extends in a relatively compact region located updip from the hypocentre and reaches its highest value (about 60 m) near the trench. Afterslip occurs mostly outside the coseismic rupture and is distributed in two main modal centres. It reaches its largest values in an area located downdip of the coseismic slip and extends to a depth of 80 km. In the depth range between 30 and 50 km afterslip overlaps the portion of the fault that experienced historical moderate earthquakes, high-frequency seismic radiation and thrust-type aftershocks. The behaviour of this area can be explained by a rheologically heterogeneous region made of a ductile fault matrix interspersed with compact brittle asperities. On the contrary, the region beneath 50–60 km depth is probably characterized by a fully velocity strengthening behaviour. Southern afterslip, located off-Chiba Prefecture, is probably related to the Mw 7.9 Ibaraki-Oki aftershock. The northward extension of the afterslip stops at a latitude of about 40◦ N, just south of the off-Aomori region. This may be related to three large events occurred in this area during the last century and the consequent strong coupling or complete depletion of the accumulated strain that characterize this region.
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