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Fault system of the 2004 Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake and its aftershocks

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Data recorded by a seismic network deployed the day after the 2004 Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake (M6.8) in central Japan are used to determine the major source faults responsible for the mainshock and major aftershocks. Using this high-resolution seismic data, three major source faults are identified: two parallel faults dipping steeply to the west located 5 km apart, and the other dipping eastward and oriented perpendicular to the west-dipping faults. The analysis also reveals that the lateral variation in seismic velocity observed at the surface extends to a depth of 15 km, encompassing the source area of the mainshock. This strong heterogeneity of the crust, related to the complex geological and tectonic evolution of the area, is considered to be responsible for the prominent aftershock activity following the 2004 Niigata event.

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This work is supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Special Purposes (16800054), and the Special Coordination Funds for the Promotion of Science and Technology (MEXT, Japan) titled as the Urgent Research for the 2004 Mid-Niigata Prefecture Earthquake, and a grant offered under the Earthquake Prediction Research program of the MEXT, Japan. Gratitude is extended to T. Iwasaki, T. Kanazawa, H. Hagiwara, T. Iidaka, T. Igarashi and staff of the Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, for valuable discussion

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Correspondence to Naoshi Hirata.

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Hirata, N., Sato, H., Sakai, S. et al. Fault system of the 2004 Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake and its aftershocks. Landslides 2, 153–157 (2005).

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