Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 166, Issue 1–2, pp 77–96 | Cite as

Variable Tsunami Sources and Seismic Gaps in the Southernmost Kuril Trench: A Review

  • Kenji HirataEmail author
  • Kenji Satake
  • Yuichiro Tanioka
  • Yohei Hasegawa


In the southernmost Kuril Trench, the tsunami source regions vary their along-trench extent even among earthquakes occurring within the same segment. Recent studies suggest that the tsunami source of the 1952 Tokachi-oki earthquake (M 8.1) differs from but partially overlaps with that of the 2003 Tokach-oki earthquake (M 8.0). Furthermore, the along-trench extent among the earthquakes seems to differ between deep and shallow portions of the subduction interface. A seismic gap has been recognized along the deep subduction interface between the sources of the 1952 and 1973 earthquakes. We propose that the gap is now larger, including both shallow to deep portions of the interface between the 1973 and 2003 earthquakes. Variability in spatial extent of large subduction earthquakes in both along-trench direction and trench-normal direction makes it difficult to forecast future earthquakes in the southernmost Kuril Trench.


Kuril Trench Tokachi-oki Nemuro-oki tsunami 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenji Hirata
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kenji Satake
    • 2
    • 4
  • Yuichiro Tanioka
    • 3
  • Yohei Hasegawa
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Seismology and Volcanology Research DepartmentMeteorological Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Active Fault Research CenterNational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and TechnologyTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Seismology and VolcanologyHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  4. 4.Earthquake Research InstituteUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Seismological and Volcanological DepartmentJapan Meteorological AgencyTokyoJapan

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