Rapid estimation of the moment magnitude of large earthquake from static strain changes

Friday, 19 December 2014: 11:05 AM
Satoshi Itaba, GSJ, AIST, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
The 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake, of moment magnitude (Mw) 9.0, occurred on March 11, 2011. Based on the seismic wave, the prompt report of the magnitude which the Japan Meteorological Agency announced just after earthquake occurrence was 7.9, and it was considerably smaller than an actual value. On the other hand, using nine borehole strainmeters of Geological Survey of Japan, AIST, we estimated a fault model with Mw 8.7 for the earthquake on the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates. This model can be estimated about seven minutes after the origin time, and five minute after wave arrival.

In order to grasp the magnitude of a great earthquake earlier, several methods are now being suggested to reduce the earthquake disasters including tsunami (e.g., Ohta et al., 2012). Our simple method of using strain steps is one of the strong methods for rapid estimation of the magnitude of great earthquakes.