Stress and pore fluid pressure control of seismicity rate changes following the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, Japan Version 2021125

Kodai Nakagomi, Toshiko Terakawa, Satoshi Matsumoto, Shinichiro Horikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We quantitatively examined the influence of pore fluid pressure and coseismic stress changes on the seismicity rate changes that followed the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, on the basis of two approaches. One is a numerical calculation of the classic stress metric of ∆CFS, and the other is an inversion analysis of pore fluid pressure fields with earthquake focal mechanism data. The former calculation demonstrated that seismicity rate changes were consistent with the expectation from ∆CFS in 65% of the target region, whereas they were not in the remaining 35% of the region. The latter analysis indicates that seismicity rates increased in the regions where pore fluid pressure before the Kumamoto earthquake sequence was remarkably enhanced above hydrostatic, regardless of values of ΔCFS. This suggests that the increase in pore fluid pressure is one of the important physical mechanisms triggering aftershock generation. We obtained evidence that pore fluid pressure increased around the southern part of the main rupture zone after the mainshock, examining temporal changes in types of focal mechanism data. The average increases in pore fluid pressure were estimated to be 17, 20, and 17 MPa at depths of 5, 10, and 15 km, respectively. These large increases in pore fluid pressure cannot be explained under the undrained condition. The spatial derivative of the pore fluid pressure field in the depth direction implies that fluid supply from greater depths may have controlled increases in seismicity rates that followed the large earthquake.[MediaObject not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Journalearth, planets and space
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Space and Planetary Science


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