Electrical conductive fluid-rich zones and their influence on the earthquake initiation, growth, and arrest processes: observations from the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence, Kyushu Island, Japan

Koki Aizawa, Shinichi Takakura, Hisafumi Asaue, Katsuaki Koike, Ryokei Yoshimura, Ken’ichi Yamazaki, Shintaro Komatsu, Mitsuru Utsugi, Hiroyuki Inoue, Kaori Tsukamoto, Makoto Uyeshima, Takao Koyama, Wataru Kanda, Tohru Yoshinaga, Nobuo Matsushima, Kazunari Uchida, Yuko Tsukashima, Takeshi Matsushima, Hiroshi Ichihara, Dan MuramatsuYoshiko Teguri, Azusa Shito, Satoshi Matsumoto, Hiroshi Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Crustal earthquake ruptures tend to initiate near fluid-rich zones. However, it is relatively unknown whether fluid-rich zones can further promote or arrest these ruptures. We image the electrical resistivity structure around the focal area of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence by using 200 sites broadband magnetotelluric data, and discuss its quantitative relationship to earthquake initiation, growth, and arrest processes. The ruptures that initiated along the outer edge of the low-resistivity fluid-rich zones (< 30 Ωm) tended to become large earthquakes, whereas those that initiated either distal to or within the fluid-rich zones did not. The ruptures were arrested by high-temperature (> 400 °C) fluid-rich zones, whereas shallower low-temperature (200–400 °C) fluid-rich zones either promoted or arrested the ruptures. These results suggest that the distribution of mid-crustal fluids contributes to the initiation, growth, and arrest of crustal earthquakes. The pre-failure pressure/temperature gradient (spatial difference) of the pore fluids may contribute to the rupture initiation, propagation, and arrest.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Journalearth, planets and space
Volume73
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Space and Planetary Science

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