Long-term evolution of intraplate seismicity in stress shadows after a megathrust

Tae Kyung Hong, Junhyung Lee, Soung Eil Houng

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Megathrusts produce large permanent lithospheric displacements as well as strong transient ground shaking up to regional distances. The influence of the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake on the seismicity in stable intraplate regions around the Korean Peninsula is investigated. The differential lateral displacements by the megathrust build transient radial tension field over the backarc lithosphere, constructing stress shadows for all types of faults in optimal orientation over the wide backarc region including the southern Korean Peninsula. A characteristic seismic-velocity decrease after the megathrust supports the medium relaxation. The number of earthquakes with magnitudes greater than or equal to 2.5 was increased by 61%. after the megathrust. The earthquakes occurred episodically. A series of unusual earthquake swarms and a temporal cluster of moderate-size earthquakes were observed in the Yellow Sea region. The significant seismicity increase since the megathrust may be due to the fluid diffusion during the transient tension field and the pore-fluid pressure increase during the ambient compressional-stress field recovery by tectonic loading. The induced seismicity may continue until the ambient stress field is fully recovered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Time-Domain Moment Tensor Inverse Code software package ( Dreger, 2003 ) was used for long-period waveform inversion. Coulomb 3.3 software ( Toda et al., 2011 ) was applied for the calculation of regional Coulomb stress changes. We thank Dr. Taka’aki Taira for fruitful discussion on seismic velocity changes after earthquakes. We are grateful to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) and the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) for seismic waveforms available. We thank the editor, Professor Vernon Cormier, and four anonymous reviewers for valuable comments. This work was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant KMIPA 2015-7040.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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