Earthquake-related Changes in Groundwater Levels at the Dogo Hot Spring, Japan
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The Dogo hot spring, situated in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan, is one of the oldest and most famous hot springs in Japan. The groundwater level or discharge at the spring decreased four times during the past eight or nine Nankai earthquakes. These are large interplate earthquakes that have occurred repeatedly in the western part of the Nankai Trough at intervals of 100–200 years since A.D. 684. To clarify the mechanism of these earthquake-related changes in the water level at the spring, we analyzed groundwater-level data recorded at the spring immediately after the 1946 Nankai earthquake and over the period from 1985 to 2006. We detected the other nine postseismic increases in groundwater level and no decreases, except for a large decrease of 11.4 m related to the 1946 Nankai earthquake. The increases were probably caused by ground-shaking, while the decrease was caused by a change in coseismic volumetric strain. These results lead to the following explanation of the recorded earthquake-related changes in the groundwater level at the Dogo hot spring. Both coseismic changes in volumetric strain and ground-shaking can lead to postseismic changes in groundwater pressure. The increase in groundwater pressure arising from ground-shaking is generally greater than the change in pressure associated with changes in coseismic volumetric strain; however, at the time of the Nankai earthquakes, the spring experiences a large increase in coseismic volumetric strain, leading to a considerably larger decrease in the groundwater level than the increase associated with ground-shaking. Therefore, the groundwater level at the Dogo hot spring usually increases at times of relatively large earthquakes, although the groundwater level or discharge decreases in the case of the Nankai earthquakes.
KeywordsEarthquake prediction hot spring groundwater Nankai earthquake strain stability of groundwater
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