We examined the variation in the high-frequency wave radiation for three repeating earthquake sequences (M = 3.1-4.1) in the northeastern Japan subduction zone by waveform analyses. Earthquakes in each repeating sequence are located at almost the same place and show low-angle thrust type focal mechanisms, indicating that they represent repeated ruptures of a seismic patch on the plate boundary. We calculated cross-spectra of the waveforms and obtained the phases and coherences for pairs of events in the respective repeating sequences in order to investigate the waveform differences. We used waveform data sampled at 1 kHz that were obtained from temporary seismic observations we conducted immediately after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake near the source area. For two repeating sequences, we found that the interevent delay times for the two waveforms in a frequency band higher than the corner frequencies are different from those in a lower frequency band for particular event pairs. The phases and coherences show that there are coherent high-frequency waves for almost all the repeaters regardless of the high-frequency delays. These results indicate that high-frequency waves are always radiated from the same vicinity (subpatch) for these events but the time intervals between the ruptures of the subpatch and the centroid times can vary. We classified events in the sequence into two subgroups according to the high-frequency band interevent delays relative to the low-frequency band. For one sequence, we found that all the events that occurred just after (within 11 days) larger nearby earthquakes belong to one subgroup while other events belong to the other subgroup. This suggests that the high-frequency wave differences were caused by stress perturbations due to the nearby earthquakes. In summary, our observations suggest that high-frequency waves from the repeating sequence are radiated not from everywhere but from a long-duration subpatch within the seismic slip area. The variation in high-frequency radiation can be explained by rupture pattern differences that depend on the stress conditions in and around the seismic patches.
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