Listening to the 2011 magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki, Japan, earthquake
The magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki, Japan, earthquake on 11 March 2011 is the largest earthquake to date in Japan’s modern history and is ranked as the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900. This earthquake occurred within the northeast Japan subduction zone (Figure 1), where the Pacific plate is subducting beneath the Okhotsk plate at rate of ∼8–9 cm/yr (DeMets et al. 2010). This type of extremely large earthquake within a subduction zone is generally termed a “megathrust” earthquake. Strong shaking from this magnitude 9 earthquake engulfed the entire Japanese Islands, reaching a maximum acceleration ∼3 times that of gravity (3 g). Two days prior to the main event, a foreshock sequence occurred, including one earthquake of magnitude 7.2. Following the main event, numerous aftershocks occurred around the main slip region; the largest of these was magnitude 7.9. The entire foreshocks-mainshock-aftershocks sequence was well recorded by thousands of sensitive seismometers and geodetic instruments across Japan, resulting in the best-recorded megathrust earthquake in history. This devastating earthquake resulted in significant damage and high death tolls caused primarily by the associated large tsunami. This tsunami reached heights of more than 30 m, and inundation propagated inland more than 5 km from the Pacific coast, which also caused a nuclear crisis that is still affecting people’s lives in certain regions of Japan.
|Listening to the 2011 magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki, Japan, earthquake
|Seismological Research Letters
|Seismological Society of America
|Volcano Science Center
|Google Analytic Metrics