# Earthquake Nucleation Process

**DOI:**https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30440-3_154

## Definition of the Subject

Earthquake prediction in the long, intermediate, and short terms is essential for the reduction of earthquake disasters. However, it is notpractical at present, in particular, for the intermediate and short time scales of a few days to years. This is mainly because we do not know exactlyhow and why earthquakes begin and grow larger or stop. Theoretical and laboratory studies have confirmed that earthquakes do not begin abruptly withdynamic rupture propagation. They show that a quasi‐static rupture growth precedes dynamic rupture. Thus, if we can detect thequasi‐static rupture growth, we could forecast the following dynamic rupture. A key issue is how natural earthquakes initiate. To solve thisissue, a first approach would be to investigate the very beginning parts of observed waveforms of earthquakes, since they can reflect the earthquakenucleation process from a quasi‐static to a dynamic rupture. This paper reviews the studies analyzing the beginning parts...

## Notes

### Acknowledgments

The project in the Western Nagano Prefecture is a co‐operative study with Shigeki Horiuchi, Shiro Ohmi, Hisao Ito, Yasuto Kuwahara,Eiji Yamamoto, Kentaro Omura, Koichi Miura, Bun'ichiro Shibazaki, and Haruo Sato. We thank James Mori and Masumi Yamada for their critical reviews of themanuscript. This work is partly supported by JSPS.KAKENHI (19204043), Japan. We are grateful for two anonymous reviewers for their critical andthoughtful comments.

## Bibliography

- 1.Abercrombie R, Mori J (1994) Local observations of the onset of a largeearthquake, 28 June 1992. Landers, California. Bull Seismol Soc Am 84:725–734Google Scholar
- 2.Aki (1967) Scaling law of seismic spectrum. J Geophys Res72:1217–1231ADSGoogle Scholar
- 3.Allen RM, Kanamori H (2003) The potential for earthquake early warning inSouthern California. Science 300(5620):786–789ADSGoogle Scholar
- 4.Anderson JG, Bodin P, Brune JN, Pince J, Singh SK, Quaas R, Ohnate M (1986)Strong ground motion from the Michoacan, Mexico, earthquake. Science 233:1043–1049ADSGoogle Scholar
- 5.Andrews DJ (1976) Rupture velocity of plane strain shear cracks. J Geophys Res81:5679–5687ADSGoogle Scholar
- 6.Asano K, Iwata T (2006) Source process and near-source ground motions of the2005 West Off Fukuoka Prefecture earthquake. Earth Planet Space 58:93–98ADSGoogle Scholar
- 7.Azimi SA, Kalinin AV, Kalinin VV, Pivovarov BL (1968) Impulse and transientcharacteristics of media with linear quadratic absorption laws, Izv. Earth Phys 1968(2):88–93Google Scholar
- 8.Bak P, Teng C (1989) Earthquakes as self-organized critical phenomenon. J Geophys Res 94:635-15–637-15Google Scholar
- 9.Beroza GC, Ellsworth WL (1996) Properties of the seismic nucleation phase.Tectonophysics 261:209–227ADSGoogle Scholar
- 10.Boatwright J (1978) Detailed spectral analysis of two small New York Stateearthquakes. Bull Seismol Soc Am 68:1117–1131Google Scholar
- 11.Brown SR, Scholz CH (1985) Broad bandwidth study of the topography of naturalrock surfaces. J Geophys Res 90:12575–12582ADSGoogle Scholar
- 12.Brune JN (1979) Implications of earthquake triggering and rupture propagationfor earthquake prediction based on premonitory phenomena. J Geophys Res 84:2195–2198ADSGoogle Scholar
- 13.Cheng X, Fenglin Niu, Silver PG, Horiuchi S, Takai K, Ito H, Iio Y Similar microearthquakes observed in western Nagano, Japan and implications to rupturemechanics. J Geophys Res 112:B04306. doi:10.1029/2006JB004416
- 14.Christensen DH, Ruff LJ (1986) Rupture process of the Chilean earthquake, 3March 1985. Geophys Res Lett 13:721–724ADSGoogle Scholar
- 15.Das S, Scholz CH (1982) Theory of time-dependent rupture in the Earth. J Geophys Res 86:6039–6051ADSGoogle Scholar
- 16.Deichman N (1997) Far-field pulse shapes from circular sources with variablerupture velocities. Bull Seismol Soc Am 87:1288–1296Google Scholar
- 17.Dieterich JH (1978) Preseismic fault slip and earthquake prediction. J Geophys Res 83:3940–3948ADSGoogle Scholar
- 18.Dieterich JH (1979) Modelling of rock friction: 1 Experimental results andconstitutive equations. J Geophys Res 84:2161–2168ADSGoogle Scholar
- 19.DieterichJH (1986) A model for the nucleation of earthquake slip. In:Earthquake source mechanics. Geophysical Monograph. Maurice Ewing Series, vol 6. Am Geophys Union, Washington DC, pp 37,36–47Google Scholar
- 20.Dodge DA, Beroza GC, Ellsworth WL (1996) Detailed observations of Californiaforeshock sequences: Implications for the earthquake initiation process. J Geophys Res 101(22):371–392Google Scholar
- 21.Ellsworth WL, Beroza GC (1995) Seismic evidence for an earthquake nucleationphase. Science 268:851–855ADSGoogle Scholar
- 22.Ellsworth WL, Beroza GC (1998) Observation of the seismic nucleation phase inthe 1995 Ridgecrest, California sequence. Geophys Res Lett 25:401–404ADSGoogle Scholar
- 23.Fukao Y, Furumoto M (1985) Hierarchy in earthquake size distribution. PhysEarth Planet Inter 37:149–168ADSGoogle Scholar
- 24.Furumoto M, Nakanishi I (1983) Source times and scaling relations of largeearthquakes. J Geophys Res 88:2191–2198ADSGoogle Scholar
- 25.Hardebeck JL, Hauksson E (2001) The crustal stress field in southernCalifornia and its implications for fault mechanics. J Geophys Res 106(21):859–882ADSGoogle Scholar
- 26.Hiramatsu Y, Furumoto M, Nishigami K, Ohmi S (2002) Initial rupture process ofmicroearthquakes recorded by high sampling borehole seismographs at the Nojima fault, central Japan. Phys Earth Planet Inter132:269–279ADSGoogle Scholar
- 27.Hirata M (2003) The initial rupture process of the 2000 Western TottoriEarthquake. Master Thesis, Kyoto UniversityGoogle Scholar
- 28.Horikawa H (2006) Rupture process of the 2005 West Off Fukuoka Prefecture,Japan, earthquake. Earth Planet Space 58:87–92ADSGoogle Scholar
- 29.Ide S, Beroza GC, Prejean SG, Ellsworth WL (2003) Apparent break in earthquakescaling due to path and site effects on deep borehole recordings. J Geophys Res 108(B5):2271; doi:10.1029/2001JB001617 Google Scholar
- 30.Iio Y (1992) Slow initial phase of the P-wave velocity pulse generated bymicroearthquakes. Geophys Res Lett 19:477–480ADSGoogle Scholar
- 31.Iio Y (1995) Observation of the slow initial phase generated bymicroearthquakes: Implications for earthquake nucleation and propagation. J Geophys Res 100:15333–15349ADSGoogle Scholar
- 32.Iio Y, Ohmi S, Ikeda R, Yamamoto E, Ito H, Sato H, Kuwahara Y, Ohminato T,Shibazaki B, Ando M (1999) Slow initial phase generated by microearthquakes occurred in the Western Nagano prefecture, Japan -the source effect-. GeopysRes Lett 26(13):1969–1972ADSGoogle Scholar
- 33.Iio Y, Kobayashi Y, Tada T (2002) Large earthquakes initiate by theacceleration of slips on the downward extensions of seismogenic faults, Earth Planet. Sci Lett 202:337–343Google Scholar
- 34.Iio Y, Horiuchi S, Ohmi S, Ito H, Kuwahara Y, Yamamoto E, Omura K, Miura K,Shibazaki B, Sato H (2006) Slow initial phase of microearthquakes. Program and abstracts of 2006 fall meeting of the Seismological Society of Japan, A48(in Japanese)Google Scholar
- 35.Ishihara Y, Fukao Y, Yamada I, Aoki H (1992) Rising slope of moment ratefunctions: the 1989 earthquakes off east coast of Honshu. Geophys Res Lett 19:873–876ADSGoogle Scholar
- 36.Ito S (2003) Study for the initial rupture process of microearthquakes inwestern Nagano, central Japan, estimated from seismograms recorded in three boreholes. Ph D Thesis, Tohoku University (inJapanese)Google Scholar
- 37.Ito S, Ito H, Horiuchi S, Iio Y (2004) Local attenuation in western Nagano,central Japan, estimated from seismograms recorded in three boreholes. Geophys Res Lett 31:L20604; doi:10.1029/2004GL020745 ADSGoogle Scholar
- 38.Ito Y, Obara K, Takeda T, Shiomi K, Matsumoto T, Sekiguchi S, Hori S (2006)Initial-rupture fault, main-shock fault, and aftershock faults: Fault geometry and bends inferred from centroid moment tensor inversion of the 2005 WestOff Fukuoka Prefecture earthquake. Earth Planet Space 58:69–74ADSGoogle Scholar
- 39.Iwata T, Sekiguchi H (2002) Source process and near-source ground motionduring the 2000 Tottori-ken Seibu earthquake (\( { M_{w}\,6.8 }\)). Reports on Assessments of Seismic local-site effects at plural test sites. MEXT,pp 231–241Google Scholar
- 40.Kanamori H, Anderson DL (1975) Theoretical bases for some empirical relationsin seismology. Bull Seism Soc Am 65:1073–1095Google Scholar
- 41.Kanamori H (1996) Initiation process of earthquakes and its implications forseismic hazard reduction strategy. Proc Natl Acad Sci 93:3726–3731ADSGoogle Scholar
- 42.Kawanishi R, Iio Y, Yukutake Y, Katao H, Shibutani T (2006) Estimate of thestress field in the region of the 2000 Western Tottori earthquake. Program and abstracts of 2006 fall meeting of the Seismological Society of Japan, P099(in Japanese)Google Scholar
- 43.Kilb D, Gomberg J (1999) The initial subevent of the 1994 Northridge,California, Earthquake – is earthquake size predictable? J Seismol 3:409–420Google Scholar
- 44.Lay T, Kanamori H, Ruff L (1982) The asperity model and the nature of largesubduction zone earthquakes. Earthq Predict Res 1:3–71Google Scholar
- 45.Mandelbrot BB (1982) The fractal geometry of nature. W.H. Freeman, NewYorkzbMATHGoogle Scholar
- 46.Miura K, Iio Y, Yukutake Y, Takai K, Horiuchi S (2005) The feature of initialmotion for waveforms of microearthquakes in Western Nagano, Japan. Program and abstracts of 2005 fall meeting of the Seismological Society of Japan,P103. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
- 47.Miyake H, Iwata T, Irikura K (2003) Source characterization for broadbandground motion simulation: Kinematic heterogeneous source model and strong motion generation area. Bull Seism Soc Am93:2531–2545Google Scholar
- 48.Mori J, Kanamori H (1996) Initial rupture of earthquake in the 1995Ridgecrest, California sequence. Geophys Res Lett 23:2437–2440ADSGoogle Scholar
- 49.Nakamura Y (1988) Proc World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, VII,6763Google Scholar
- 50.Nakatani M, Kaneshima S, Fukao Y (2000) Size-dependent microearthquakeinitiation inferred from high-gain and low-noise observations at Nikko district, Japan. J Geophys Res105(B12):28095–28110; doi:10.1029/2000JB900255 ADSGoogle Scholar
- 51.Ohmi S, Watanabe K, Shibutani T, Hirano N, Nakao S (2002) The 2000 WesternTottori Earthquake—Seismic activity revealed by the regional seismic networks. Earth Planet Space 54:819–830ADSGoogle Scholar
- 52.Ohnaka M, Kuwahara Y, Yamamoto K, Hirasawa T (1986) Dynamic breakdown processesand the generating mechanism for high-frequency elastic radiation during stick-slip instabilities. In: Das S, Boatwright J, Scholz CH, AGU (eds)Earthquake source mechanics. Geophysical Monograph, vol 37. Maurice Ewing Series, vol 6. American Geophysical Union, Washington DC,pp 13–24Google Scholar
- 53.Ohnaka M, Kuwahara Y (1990) Characteristic features of local breakdown near a crack-tip in the transition zone from nucleation to unstable rupture during stick-slip shear failure. Tectonophysics175:197–220ADSGoogle Scholar
- 54.Ohnaka M, Shen L (1999) Scaling of the shear rupture process from nucleationto dynamic propagation: Implications of geometric irregularity of the rupture surfaces. J Geophys Res 104:817–844ADSGoogle Scholar
- 55.Ohnaka M (2000) A physical scaling relation between the size of an earthquakeand its nucleation zone size. Pure Appl Geophys 157:2259–2282ADSGoogle Scholar
- 56.Okubo PG, Dieterich JH (1984) Effects of physical fault properties onfrictional instabilities produced on a simulated faults. J Geophys Res 89:5817–5827ADSGoogle Scholar
- 57.Olson EL, Allen RM (2006) Is earthquake rupture deterministic? Nature442:E5–E6; doi:10.1038/nature04963 Google Scholar
- 58.Rydelek P, Horiuchi S (2006) Is earthquake rupture deterministic? (Reply).Nature 442:E6; doi:10.1038/nature04964 Google Scholar
- 59.Sato T (1994) Seismic radiation from circular cracks growing at variablerupture velocity. Bull Seismol Soc Am 84:1199–1215Google Scholar
- 60.Sato T, Hirasawa T (1973) Body wave spectra from propagating shear cracks. J Phys Earth 21:415–431Google Scholar
- 61.Sato T, Kanamori H (1999) Beginning of earthquakes modeled with the Griffith'sfracture criterion. Bull Seismol Soc Am 89:80–93Google Scholar
- 62.Sato K, Mori J (2006) Scaling relationship of initiations for moderate tolarge earthquakes. J Geophys Res 111:B05306; doi:10.1029/2005JB003613 ADSGoogle Scholar
- 63.Sato K, Mori J (2006) Relation between rupture complexity and earthquake sizefor two shallow earthquake sequences in Japan. J Geophys Res 10.1029/2005JB003613
- 64.Shibazaki B, Matsu'ura M (1992) Spontaneous processes for nucleation, dynamicpropagation, and stop of earthquake rupture. Geophys Res Lett 19:1189–1192ADSGoogle Scholar
- 65.Shibazaki B, Matsu'ura M (1995) Foreshocks and pre-events associated with thenucleation of large earthquakes. Geophys Res Lett 22(10):1305–1308; doi:10.1029/95GL01196 ADSGoogle Scholar
- 66.Shibazaki B, Matsu'ura M (1998) Transition process from nucleation tohigh-speed rupture propagation: Scaling from stick-slip experiments to natural earthquakes. Geophys J Int 132:14–30ADSGoogle Scholar
- 67.Shibazaki B, Yoshida Y, Nakamura M, Nakamura M, Katao H (2002) Rupturenucleations in the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake and its large aftershocks. Geophys J Int 149:572–588ADSGoogle Scholar
- 68.Spudich P, Cranswick E (1984) Direct observation of rupture propagation duringthe 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake using a short-baseline accelerometer array. Bull Seismol Soc Am 74:2083–2114Google Scholar
- 69.Takenaka H, Nakamura T, Yamamoto Y, Toyokuni G, Kawase H (2006) Preciselocation of the fault plane and the onset of the main rupture of the 2005 West Off Fukuoka Prefecture earthquake. Earth Planets Space58:75–80ADSGoogle Scholar
- 70.Uchide T, Ide S (2007) Development of multiscale slip inversion method and itsapplication to the 2004 Mid-Niigata Prefecture earthquake. J Geophys Res doi:10.1029/2006JB004528
- 71.Uehira K, Yamada T, Shinohara M, Nakahigashi K, Miyamachi H, Iio Y, Okada T,Takahashi H, Matsuwo N, Uchida K, Kanazawa T, Shimizu H (2006) Precise aftershock distribution of the 2005 West Off Fukuoka Prefecture Earthquake(\( { Mj=7.0 } \)) using a dense onshore andoffshore seismic network. Earth Planet Space 58:1605–1610ADSGoogle Scholar
- 72.Umeda Y (1990) High-amplitude seismic waves radiated from the bright spot ofan earthquake. Tectonophysics 175:81–92ADSGoogle Scholar
- 73.Umeda Y (1992) The bright spot of an earthquake. Tectonophysics211:13–22ADSGoogle Scholar
- 74.Umeda Y, Yamashita T, Tada T, Kame N (1996) Possible mechanisms of dynamicnucleation and arresting of shallow earthquake faulting. Tectonophysics 261:179–192ADSGoogle Scholar
- 75.Yamaguchi S, H Kawakata, T Adachi, Y Umeda (2007) Features of initial processof rupture for the 2005 West off Fukuoka Prefecture Eathquake. Zisin Ser 2:241–252 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
- 76.Venkataraman A, Beroza GC, Ide S, Imanishi K, Ito H, Iio Y (2006) Measurementsof spectral similarity for microearthquakes in western Nagano, Japan. J Geophys Res 111:B03303; doi:10.1029/2005JB003834 ADSGoogle Scholar
- 77.Wu Y, Kanamori H, Allen R, Hauksson E (2007) Determination of earthquake earlywarning parameters, τ
_{c}and*P*_{d}, for southern California. Geophys J Int (OnlineEarly Articles) doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03430.x - 78.Wyss M, Brune J (1967) The Alaska earthquake of 28 March 1964—a complexmultiple rupture. Bull Seismol Soc Am 57:1017–1023Google Scholar