Tsunami damage in the southern Kanto region from the 1703 Genroku Kanto earthquake

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Jun Muragishi, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan and Kenji Satake, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan
The Genroku Kanto earthquake occurred on Dec. 31th, 1703 along the Sagami Trough where the Philippine Sea plate subducts beneath the continental plate. Hatori (1976) reported significant tsunami damage with estimated tsunami heights of 5 m along Kujukuri coast on the Pacific Ocean, and estimated the tsunami heights in the inner Tokyo Bay as approximately 2 m. In Tokyo Bay, there are no records that indicate the tsunami inundated residential areas, while some descriptions of tsunami are recorded in Edo, the former Tokyo. The notice from Edo City Commissioners to residences in Edo described that the tsunami came up to the upper-limit of Sumida River in Tokyo, where four major arrivals of tsunamis were reported. According to Saihen-onkoroku, tsunami came to Fukagawa, where one person was killed by throwing away from a boat affected by the tsunami.
In Ichikawa along the coast of Chiba Prefecture in Tokyo Bay, there are historical records about the salt farm. The embankments were collapsed and the salt farm was ruined, while the tsunami damage is not described. At this location, the damage due to storm surge in 1680 is recorded in the same document. Although storm surge damage is recorded in detail, there are no records about the Genroku tsunami, suggesting that the tsunami damage, if any, is slighter than the storm surge.
Along the Kujukui coast outside the Tokyo bay, the descriptions are not only damage to buildings or deaths but also an influx of sand brought by the tsunami which damaged the agricultural land.
In summary, it became certain that the Genroku tsunami caused some damage in the inner Tokyo Bay area. In addition, we found that a wide range of farmland was suffered by influx of sand and crops could not grow well. Such a description may be able to contribute to the tsunami deposits in future research. This study was supported by the Special Project for Reducing Vulnerability for Urban Mega Earthquake Disasters from the MEXT of Japan.