Spatiotemporal Seismicity Evolution and Seismic Hazard Potentials in the Western East Sea (Sea of Japan)

Tae Kyung Hong, Seongjun Park, Junhyung Lee, Woohan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The earthquakes in the western East Sea (Sea of Japan) mostly occur in the continental margin off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. The seismic hazard potentials in and around the western Ease Sea are studied based on analyses of tectonic structures, seismicity features, earthquake source properties, Coulomb stress changes, and strong ground motions. The earthquake source mechanisms suggest that paleo-rifting structures in the western East Sea were activated by the current stress field. A low stress cumulation rate results in the occurrence of earthquakes with long recurrence intervals. The background seismicity suggests that earthquakes with magnitudes Mw 5.0, 6.0, and 7.0 may occur within every ∼ 44, ∼ 336, and ∼ 2550 years at 95 % confidence level. The spatial distribution of earthquakes changes with time. Most earthquakes are clustered within ∼ 60 km from the coast. The seismicity analysis indicates an apparent increase of moderate-size (Mw 3–5) earthquakes since the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku-Oki megathrust earthquake. Static stress changes by moderate-size inland earthquakes induce offshore events. The seismicity and Coulomb stress changes suggest high seismic potentials around the western margin of the Ulleung basin. Earthquakes with magnitudes Mw 6.0–7.0 in the western East Sea may produce peak ground accelerations of 0.2 g within the distance of ∼ 40–80 km, which includes the coastal regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3761-3774
Number of pages14
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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