Co- and postseismic slip behaviors extracted from decadal seafloor geodesy after the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake

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Shun-ichi Watanabe, Tadashi Ishikawa, Yuto Nakamura , Yusuke Yokota


Investigations of the co- and postseismic processes of the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake provide essential information on the seismic cycle in the Japan Trench. Although various postseismic models have been proposed, no consensus has been reached, especially on the along-strike extensions of the main rupture due to the lack of conclusive evidence, even in the coseismic process. To decompose the postseismic transient processes in and around the source region, i.e., viscoelastic relaxation and afterslip, long-term postseismic geodetic observation on the seafloor plays an essential role. Here, from decadal seafloor geodetic data, we provide empirical evidence for offshore aseismic afterslip on the rupture edges that had almost decayed within 2–3 year. The afterslip regions are considered to have stopped the north-south rupture propagation. In the southern source region (~37 °N), despite not resolved by coseismic geodetic data, shallow tsunamigenic slip near the trench is captured by postseismic seafloor geodesy as a subsequent viscoelastic deformation causing persistent seafloor subsidence at a geodetic site off-Fukushima. After a decade from the earthquake, the long-term viscoelastic relaxation process is currently in progress and is still dominant in the rupture area.



Geophysics and Seismology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


GNSS-A, Tohoku-oki earthquake, seafloor crustal deformation


Published: 2021-02-16 11:16

Last Updated: 2021-06-16 11:19

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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