Fault modeling of the Mw 7.0 shallow intra-slab strike-slip earthquake occurred on 2011 July 10th using near-field tsunami record

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Tatsuya Kubota, Ryota Hino and Takeshi Iinuma, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
On 2011 July 10th, an earthquake of Mw 7.0 occurred in the shallow part of the Pacific slab beneath the large coseismic slip area of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. This event has a strike-slip focal mechanism with steep dipping nodal planes. Near the epicenter, aftershocks determined by OBS deployment formed clear two orthogonal lineaments with identical strikes of the focal mechanism solution, suggesting that the aftershock activity occurred along the two conjugate faults. The strikes of these faults were almost parallel to the direction of the magnetic lineations and the fracture zones of the incoming Pacific plate, suggesting that the earthquake was the re-rupture of congenital fractures under the extensional stress induced by the Tohoku-Oki earthquake. It is of great interest to know the down-dip size of the source fault not only to understand the mechanical nature of the slab but also the post-2011 stress state. Coseismic seafloor deformation and tsunami associated with the earthquake were observed by ocean bottom pressure gauges deployed within ~ 100 km from the epicenter. We estimated the finite fault model of this event to discuss the rupture properties of the earthquake. We sought the source model assuming a rectangular fault with a uniform slip assuming the strike of the fault to be one of those of two nodal planes of the focal mechanism. The two preferable source models corresponding to the two nodal planes explained the observed data equally well. For either model, the depth of the downdip end exceeds 40 km below the plate boundary, meaning the fault widths (down-dip size) were much larger than the depth extent of the aftershock distribution (~ 15 km). We sought another source model assuming the simultaneous rupture of the conjugate faults and found that the width of the fault model was more consistent with the aftershock distribution than the single rupture plane models. The 2011 intraslab strike-slip earthquake might be a compound rupture of the spreading-related fracture and the transform fault like fracture within the subducting Pacific slab.