In Hyuga-nada, southern Kyushu in southwest Japan, afterslip events were found in association with the two large interplate earthquakes, which occurred on October 19 and December 3, 1996. In Kyushu, low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) and tectonic tremors are not common, but a considerable concentration of tectonic tremors is observed beneath the Pacific coast of the Miyazaki prefecture. To investigate the generation mechanisms of these seismic events, we performed 2-D box-type time-dependent thermal modeling in southern Kyushu. As a result, the temperature range of the upper surface of the subducting Philippine Sea (PHS) plate, where the afterslip occurred, reached approximately 300 to 350°C. The temperatures where the tectonic tremors occurred ranged from 450 to 650°C in the mantle wedge corner. We also estimated the spatial distribution of water content within the subducting PHS plate, using phase diagrams of hydrous mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) and ultramafic rock. Then, we found that no characteristic phase transformations accompany the dehydration of the subducting PHS plate in the afterslip region, but phase transformation from lawsonite blueschist to lawsonite eclogite is expected within the oceanic crust of the PHS plate just below the active region of the tectonic tremors. Our estimated water content distribution is consistent with the VP/VS ratio calculated from the seismic tomography. Therefore, we conclude that the occurrence of the afterslip is controlled by the temperature condition at the plate boundary, and occurs near the down-dip limit of the seismogenic zone. On the other hand, determining the major factors leading to the occurrence of the tectonic tremors is difficult, we estimated the temperature in the mantle wedge is ranging from 450°C to 650°C, and dehydration of 1.0wt% would be expected from the subducting PHS plate near the active region of the tectonic tremors.
Tectonophysics – Elsevier
Published: Jan 16, 2018
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