Detectability analysis of interplate fault slips in the Nankai subduction thrust using seafloor observation instruments

Abstract

To help the decision making regarding where to locate new observation instruments on the seafloor, we examined the detectability of interplate earthquakes and slow slips in the Nankai subduction thrust in Japan using seafloor observation instruments. Here, the detectability is defined as the smallest magnitude of the interplate fault slip detected by the assumed observation points based on crustal deformation simulation. In the detectability analyses, we considered the effect of sensor drifts that are particularly associated with seafloor observations. In addition, we introduced high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) finite element modeling of crustal deformation to consider the effect of the topography and 3D heterogeneous crustal structure around the Nankai Trough. The results of the detectability analyses show that introducing new seafloor stations for tilt observation in the Nankai region should increase the detectability of small- or medium-sized interplate earthquakes and slow slips significantly. Based on the obtained results, we also discuss the advantage of both the existing and the new observation instruments in detecting interplate fault slips.

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Acknowledgements

Part of the results were obtained using the K computer at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (Proposal No.: hp170249 and hp180207). This work was supported by Post K computer project (Priority issue 3: development of integrated Simulation Systems for Hazard and Disaster Induced by Earthquake and Tsunami).

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Correspondence to Ryoichiro Agata.

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Appendices

Appendix A: modification of the DEM data for the Nankai region

In interplate fault slips, the deep portion of the fault plane is believed to be located the boundary between the oceanic and the continental plate. On the other hand, when a shallow fault slip is considered, the fault is expected to reach the seafloor by going through the accretionary sediment and the sediment on the top of the oceanic plate. In the data of Citak et al. (2012), these two sediment layers are given as one, it is necessary to newly set the fault plane. Following studies that are generating the surface using point constraints (Ide et al. 2010), we corrected the DE data by interpolating between the top surface of the Philippine Sea plate and the trough axis using an adjustable-tension continuous curvature surface gridding algorithm (Smith and Wessel 1990).

Appendix B: detectability analysis with n = 2

In Figs. 12 and 13, we show the results of detectability analyses corresponding to those in Figs. 6 and 7. While the results differ slightly depending on n, the change does affect the discussion in “Discussion” section qualitatively.

Fig. 12
figure12

The contribution from each kind of instrument for four different magnitudes of earthquake in the case of n = 2. (a)Mw 5.5, (b) Mw 6.0, (c) Mw 6.5 and (d) Mw 7.0 in Plan B. The triangles are the symbols for observation instruments. The colored circles indicate which kind of observation detected the fault slip in the location. GEONET + OBP: detected by more than one GEONET station and one OBP station. GEONET + Tilt or strain: detected by more than one GEONET station and one tilt or strain meter. OBP + Tilt or strain: detected by more than one OBP station and one tilt or strain meter. All: detected by more than one GEONET station, one OBP station and one tilt or strain meter. Note that each grid point is located on the shallowest edge of the assumed rectangular fault, with examples of faults denoted by the thick, red, dashed line at the point denoted by the orange circle for Mw 7.0 (d)

Fig. 13
figure13

The contribution from each kind of instrument for four different magnitudes of slow slip in the case of n = 2. (a) Mw 5.5, (b) Mw 6.0, (c) Mw 6.5 and (d) Mw 7.0 in Plan B. The triangles are the symbols for observation instruments. The colored circles indicate which kind of observation detected the fault slip in the location. GEONET + OBP: detected by more than one GEONET station and one OBP station. GEONET + Tilt or strain: detected by more than one GEONET station and one tilt or strain meter. OBP + Tilt or strain: detected by more than one OBP station and one tilt or strain meter. All: detected by more than one GEONET station, one OBP station and one tilt or strain meter. Note that each grid point is located on the shallowest edge of the assumed rectangular fault, with examples of faults denoted by the thick, red, dashed line at the point denoted by the orange circle for Mw 7.0 (d)

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Agata, R., Hori, T., Ariyoshi, K. et al. Detectability analysis of interplate fault slips in the Nankai subduction thrust using seafloor observation instruments. Mar Geophys Res 40, 453–466 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11001-019-09380-y

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Keywords

  • Slow slips
  • Detectability analysis
  • Seafloor observation instruments
  • Tilt observation
  • Ocean bottom pressure gauge
  • DONET
  • Finite element analysis
  • Crustal deformation