TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 64 (No. 12), pp. 1111-1123, 2012

Source model for strong ground motion generation in the frequency range 0.1-10 Hz during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake

Kimiyuki Asano and Tomotaka Iwata

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

(Received December 28, 2011; Revised April 20, 2012; Accepted May 5, 2012; Online published January 28, 2013)

Abstract: The source model of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, which is composed of four strong motion generation areas (SMGAs), is estimated based on the broadband strong ground motion simulations in the frequency range 0.1-10 Hz using the empirical Green's function method. Two strong motion generation areas are identified in the Miyagi-oki region west of the hypocenter. Another two strong motion generation areas are located in the Fukushima-oki region southwest of the hypocenter. The strong ground motions in the frequency range 0.1-10 Hz along the Pacific coast are mainly controlled by these SMGAs. All the strong motion generation areas exist in the deeper portion of the source fault plane. The stress drops of the four SMGAs range from 6.6 to 27.8 MPa, which are similar to estimations for past M 7-class events occurring in this region. Compared with the slip models and aftershock distributions of past interplate earthquakes in the Miyagi-oki and Fukushima-oki regions since the 1930s, the SMGAs of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake spatially correspond to the asperities of M 7-class events in 1930s. In terms of broadband strong ground motions, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake is not only a tsunamigenic event with a huge coseismic slip near the trench but is also a complex event simultaneously rupturing pre-existing asperities.
Key words: 2011 Tohoku earthquake, source model, strong motion generation area, empirical Green's function method, broadband strong ground motion simulation, asperity.

Corresponding author E-mail: k-asano@egmdpri01.dpri.kyoto-u.ac.jp

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