Field investigations and analyses of satellite images and aerial photographs reveal that the 2016 M w 7.1 (Mj 7.3) Kumamoto earthquake produced a ∼40-km surface rupture zone striking NE-SW on central Kyushu Island, Japan. Coseismic surface ruptures were characterized by shear faults, extensional cracks, and mole tracks, which mostly occurred along the pre-existing NE-SW-striking Hinagu–Futagawa fault zone in the southwest and central segments, and newly identified faults in the northeast segment. This study shows that (i) the Hinagu–Futagawa fault zone triggered the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake and controlled the spatial distribution of coseismic surface ruptures; (ii) the southwest and central segments were dominated by right-lateral strike-slip movement with a maximum in-site measured displacement of up to 2.5 m, accompanied by a minor vertical component. In contrast, the northeast segment was dominated by normal faulting with a maximum vertical offset of up to 1.75 m with a minor horizontal component that formed graben structures inside Aso caldera; (iii) coseismic rupturing initiated at the jog area between the Hinagu and Futagawa faults, then propagated northeastward into Aso caldera, where it terminated. The 2016 M w 7.1 Kumamoto earthquake therefore offers a rare opportunity to study the relationships between coseismic rupture processes and pre-existing active faults, as well as the seismotectonics of Aso volcano.
Journal of Seismology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 21, 2017
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