JDR Vol.9 No.3 pp. 294-302
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2014.p0294


Pre-, Co-, and Post-Seismic Deformation of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake and its Implication to a Paradox in Short-Term and Long-Term Deformation

Takuya Nishimura

Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University, Gokasho, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan

January 6, 2014
March 30, 2014
June 1, 2014
crustal deformation, interplate coupling, GNSS, leveling

The 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake caused large eastward displacement and subsidence along the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan. This earthquake partly solved a well-known paradox holding that sense and rate of deformation differ greatly between geologic and geodetic estimates. A paradox remains, however, in explaining long-term uplift along the Pacific coast on a geologic time-scale. Geodetic data show that coastal subsidence continued at a nearly constant rate of ∼5 mm/yr with small fluctuations associated with M7-8 interplate earthquakes for ∼120 years before the Tohoku-oki earthquake. In an area near the Oshika Peninsula where coseismic subsidence is largest, extrapolation of a logarithmic function fitting observed postseismic deformation suggests that coseismic subsidence may be compensated for by the postseismic uplift for several decades but it is difficult to expect the postseismic uplift exceeding 2 meters, so it is implausible that the observed rapid subsidence continued throughout an entire interseismic period in a great megathrust earthquake cycle. We propose a hypothetical model in which the sense of vertical deformation changes from uplift to subsidence during the interseismic period. Using simple elastic dislocation theory, this model is explained by the shallow coupled part of a plate interface in an early interseismic period and the deep coupled part of a late interseismic period.

Cite this article as:
T. Nishimura, “Pre-, Co-, and Post-Seismic Deformation of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake and its Implication to a Paradox in Short-Term and Long-Term Deformation,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.9, No.3, pp. 294-302, 2014.
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