Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 173, Issue 1, pp 35–47 | Cite as

Tempo-Spatial Impact of the 2011 M9 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake on Eastern China

  • Lifeng Wang
  • Jie Liu
  • Jing Zhao
  • Jingui Zhao


We investigate in this study the impact of the Tohoku-Oki earthquake on Eastern China, and particularly focus on postseismic relaxation processes. We first invert for postseismic slip on the fault plane based on the GPS measurements of GEONET in Japan. Then, we use a layered rheological model to theoretically investigate the deep viscoelastic relaxation process. The Tohoku-Oki mainshock produced significant strain changes in Eastern China, dominantly east–west-oriented extension with a level close to or higher than the tectonic strain rates at the east border of China. The strain due to the postseismic stress relaxations has similar patterns as those produced by the mainshock, but with smaller magnitudes. The Tohoku-Oki earthquake impacts Eastern China for decades, but dominantly in the first 2–3 years after the mainshock and caused an apparent displacements and decrease of seismicity rate in Northeast China. For a long-term of 100 years, the Tohoku-Oki earthquake produces about 10 % of the tectonic strain rates in Eastern China, due to viscoelastic relaxation at the deep depth.


GPS postseismic relaxation 



We acknowledge Geospatial Information Authority (GSI) of Japan for providing access to the GPS measurements of GEONET, Yanqiang Wu for providing the GPS date in Eastern China, and the anonymous reviewers for constructive suggestions. This work is supported by NSFC-41204065 project and Key Project of the National Eleventh-Five Year Research Program of China (2012BAK19B02).

Supplementary material

24_2015_1121_MOESM1_ESM.doc (980 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 980 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China Earthquake Networks CenterBeijingChina
  2. 2.Taiyuan University of TechnologyTaiyuanChina

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