Subduction zone structures and slip behavior in megathrust

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Shuichi Kodaira, Ayako Nakanishi and Yasuyuki Nakamura, R&D Center for Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
Earthquake, tsunami and geodetic data show that co-seismic slips of a large megathrust earthquakes do not uniformly propagate along a plate boundary. For example, a clear segmentation of slip zones of magnitude-8 class megathrust earthquakes are well recognized in the Nankai Trough. Moreover, a lateral variation of the slips are revealed even in one segment. In the Japan Trench, the most characteristic slip behavior of the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake is an extremely large slip reaching to the trench axis, but geodetic, tsunami or teleseismic show the slip was heterogeneous near the trench. In order to examine whether those complex slip distributions are attributed by any distinct structural factor, we have been carried out active-source seismic surveys in the subduction seismogenic. In the Nankai Trough, large-scale subducted seamounts, ridges and doming structure intruded in an overriding accretion wedge are imaged. Comparing co-seismic slip distribution of the 1944 Tonankai and the 1946 Nankai earthquakes with the seismic images, we concluded that those structures are key factors to control the slip distributions. In the central part of the Japan Trench area, we fund a rough basement geometry is overprinted on the horst-and-graben structure. Those complex geometry of basement cause a strong lateral variation of the thickness of subducting pelagic/hemi-pelagic sediment. Many geological studies suggest that properties of the plate-boundary sediment attribute the large slip near the trench. We therefore plan to acquire additional high-resolution seismic data in the entire Japan Trench in order to examine a role of incoming sediment on the large slip to the trench axis. In this presentation we present an overview of the structural factors controlling slips in megathrust earthquakes, including new data acquired in the Nankai Trough and Japan Trench.