GEOSCAN Search Results: Fastlink


TitleThermal constraints on the seismogenic portion of the southwestern Japan subduction thrust
AuthorHyndman, R DORCID logo; Wang, KORCID logo; Yamano, M
SourceJournal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth vol. 100, no. B8, 1995 p. 15373-15392,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 47694
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Lat/Long WENS 132.0000 140.0000 35.0000 32.0000
Subjectsmarine geology; tectonics; subduction zones; seismicity; thermal analyses; thermal regimes; faulting; tsunami; earthquake risk; earthquakes; faults, thrust; modelling; seismic interpretations; seismic profiles, marine; seismic surveys; Nankai Trough; Shikoku Basin; Izu-Bonlin Trench; thermal model
Illustrationslocation maps; seismic reflection profiles; graphs; schematic cross-sections
Released2012 09 20
AbstractFor coastal cities an important factor in earthquake hazard from subduction zone earthquakes is the landward extent of the seismogenic portion of the subduction thrust fault. In this study we test the hypothesis that the maximum downdip extent is defined by a critical temperature. We have developed a transient thermal model for the Nankai subduction zone of southwest Japan to allow comparison of the thermally estimated downdip extent of the seismogenic zone with that from (1) seismicity and tsunami data for two great subduction earthquakes, (2) the coseismic faulting extent of these events estimated from geodetic deformation data, and (3) the interseismic locked zone determined from interseismic geodetic data. The Nankai margin has extensive heat flow and heat production data to control thermal models and thus crustal temperatures. It has earthquake, tsunami, and geodetic data that constrain the coseismic rupture portion of the subduction thrust fault for past great earthquakes and the portion of the thrust fault that is locked and storing interseismic elastic strain. On the Nankaido margin off Shikoku Island, the thermal model indicates that a temperature of 350°C (taken to be the limit for seismic initiation from laboratory and field data) is reached on the subduction thrust fault 150 km from the trench. A transition zone into which rupture may extend with decreasing offset (taken to be 450°C) extends an additional 45 km downdip. The thermal model results are in excellent agreement with the maximum downdip extent of coseismic displacement for the 1946 Nankaido Ms = 8.2 earthquake off Shikoku Island and with the downdip extent of the present locked zone. In the region of the 1944 Tonankai Ms = 8.2 earthquake to the northeast, the subduction angle is much steeper and the thermal models indicate a narrower downdip seismogenic extent. The seismogenic-locked zone from earthquake and geodetic data is also narrower. Thus our analysis of the southwest Japan margin indicates that all three constraints on the downdip extent of the seismogenic zone, thermal, coseismic and interseismic geodetic data, are in general agreement. The study also supports the hypothesis that the seismogenic portion of subduction thrust faults is limited primarily by temperature. The thermal control implies that subduction thrust faults with shallow dip have wider seismogenic zones compared to those with steep dip. The subducting plate age and thus heat flow, and the thickness of the insulating sediments on the incoming plate, are also very important to the thermal regime and thus to the seismogenic width. The relation of the maximum seismic rupture area to the interseismic locked zone is particularly important for earthquake hazard estimation on subduction margins such as Cascadia where there have been no great historical events.

Date modified: