We obtained an electrical transect image of the Niigata-Kobe Tectonic Zone (NKTZ). Several major active faults are located in this zone of concentrated deformation. The main features of the final two-dimensional model are a thick resistive block in the upper crust, with a thinned-out portion beneath the Atotsugawa Fault, and a strong conductor in the lower crust that intrudes upward into the upper resistor. The upper crustal resistive zone corresponds well to the spatiality of the NKTZ, and relatively conductive zones sandwiching this resistor may contribute to observed changes in displacement rates. The overlapping locations of the conductor and the low-velocity body in the lower crust indicate that the conductor represents a zone that was weakened by fluids. Given that microearthquakes are localized in the regions between the resistive and conductive zones, we suggest that the distribution of earthquakes is influenced by intrusions of fluid derived from the conductor.
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