The M7 2016 Kumamoto, Japan, Earthquake: 3-D Deformation Along the Fault and Within the Damage Zone Constrained From Differential Lidar Topography

Chelsea P. Scott, Ramon Arrowsmith, Edwin Nissen, Lia Lajoie, Tadashi Maruyama, Tatsuro Chiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three-dimensional near-fault coseismic deformation fields from high-resolution differential topography provide new information on the behavior of the shallow fault zone in large surface-rupturing earthquakes. Our work focuses on the 16 April 2016 Mw 7.0 Kumamoto, Japan, earthquake, which ruptured ~40 km of the Futagawa-Hinagu Fault Zone on Kyushu Island with an oblique strike-slip mechanism and surface offset exceeding 2 m. Our differential lidar analysis constrains the structural style of strain accommodation along the primary fault trace and the surrounding damage zone. We show that 36 ± 29% and 62 ± 32% of the horizontal and vertical deformation, respectively, was accommodated off the principal fault trace. The horizontal strains of up to 0.03 suggest that the approximate elastic strain limit was exceeded over a ~250 m width in many locations along the rupture. The inelastic deformation of the fault volume produced the observed distributed deformation at the Earth's surface. We demonstrate a novel approach for calculating 3-D displacement uncertainties, indicating errors of centimeters to a few decimeters for displacements computed over 50 m horizontal windows. Errors correlate with land cover and relief, with flatter agricultural land associated with the highest displacement uncertainty. These advances provide a framework for future analyses of shallow earthquake behavior using differential topography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6138-6155
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume123
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Keywords

  • differential topography
  • earthquake deformation
  • faulting mechanics
  • lidar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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