Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 170, Issue 1–2, pp 95–108 | Cite as

FDM Simulation of an Anomalous Later Phase from the Japan Trench Subduction Zone Earthquakes



We investigated the development of a distinct later phase observed at stations near the Japan Trench associated with shallow, outer-rise earthquakes off the coast of Sanriku, northern Japan based on the analysis of three-component broadband seismograms and FDM simulations of seismic wave propagation using a heterogeneous structural model of the Japan Trench subduction zone. Snapshots of seismic wave propagation obtained through these simulations clearly demonstrate the complicated seismic wavefield constructed by a coupling of the ocean acoustic waves and the Rayleigh waves propagating within seawater and below the sea bottom by multiple reflections associated with shallow subduction zone earthquakes. We demonstrated that the conversion to the Rayleigh wave from the coupled ocean acoustic waves and the Rayleigh wave as they propagate upward along the slope of seafloor near the coast is the primary cause of the arrival of the distinct later phase at the station near the coast. Through a sequence of simulations using different structural models of the Japan Trench subduction zone, we determined that the thick layer of seawater along the trench and the suddenly rising sea bottom onshore of the Japanese island are the major causes of the distinct later phase. The results of the present study indicate that for realistic modeling of seismic wave propagation from the subduction zone earthquakes, a high-resolution bathymetry model is very crucial, although most current simulations do not include a water column in their simulation models.


Numerical simulation guided wave outer-rise earthquake rayleigh wave scholte wave ocean acoustic wave 


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinako Noguchi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takuto Maeda
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takashi Furumura
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Integrated Disaster Information Research, Interfaculty Initiative in Information StudiesThe University of TokyoBunkyo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Earthquake Research InstituteThe University of TokyoBunkyo-kuJapan

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