Continuous GPS Array and Present-day Crustal Deformation of Japan
—A GPS array with about 1,000 permanent stations is under operation in Japan. The GPS array revealed coseismic deformations associated with large earthquakes and ongoing secular deformation in the Japanese islands. Based on daily coordinate data of the GPS stations, strain rate distribution is estimated. Most regions with a large strain rate are related to plate boundaries and active volcanoes. In addition, the Niigata-Kobe Tectonic Zone (NKTZ) is recognized as a region of large strain rate along the Japan Sea coast and in the northern Chubu and Kinki districts. This newly found tectonic zone may be related to a hypothetical boundary between the Eurasian (or Amurian) and the Okhotsk (or North America) plates. Precise observation of crustal deformation provides important boundary conditions on numerical modeling of earthquakes and other crustal activities. Appropriate computation methods of continuous deformation field are directly applicable to data assimilation for such numerical simulations.
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