Application of Satellite Geodesy in Analyzing the Accelerated Movement of the Back-arc Rifting in the Izu Bonin Islands, Japan
Abstract:The Izu–Bonin islands lies along the convergent boundary between the subducting Pacific plate (PA) and the overriding Philippine Sea plate (PH) in the western Pacific. Nishimura (2011) found that the back-arc rifting goes on behind the Izu arc by studying the horizontal velocities of GNSS stations on the Izu islands. Here we show that this rifting has accelerated in 2004 using GNSS data at Aogashima, Hachijoujima, and Mikurajima stations.
The back-arc rifting behind the Izu islands can be seen as the increasing distance between stations in the Izu-Bonin islands and stations located in the stable part of PH. We found that their movement showed clear acceleration around the third quarter of 2004.
Obtaining the Euler vector of the PH is necessary to analyzed the movement of each stations relative to the other stations on the same plate. The analyzing of GPS timeseries leads us to one initial conclusion that some accelerated movement started to occur in the third quarter of 2004. This event was closely related to the earthquake on May 29, 2004 in Nankai Trough and September 5, 2004 earthquake near the triple junction of Sagami Trough. The analyzing process help us to understand that this accelerated movement was not the afterslip of any of these earthquakes, but it was triggering these area to move faster and further than it was.
We first rule out the best possible cause by constraining the onset time of the accelerated movement, and correlating it with the earthquakes. May 29, 2004 earthquake (M6.5) at the PA-PH boundary clearly lacked the jump which should mark the onset of the eastward slow movement. Moreover, additional velocity vectors do not converge to the epicenter, and onset time that minimizes the post-fit residual is significantly later than May. We therefore conclude that accelerated movement started in 2004 was not due to the afterslip of interplate earthquake in May 29.
On the next step we found that the onset time coincides with the occurrence of September 5, 2004 We found that the accelerated movement vectors of these islands are almost parallel with each other, and perpendicular to the rift axis. We hypothesize that the seismic wave radiated from the epicenter of this earthquake dynamically triggered the acceleration of the back arc opening in the Izu Arc.