Journal Article Tsunami-generated magnetic fields may constrain focal mechanisms of earthquakes.

Kawashima, Issei  ,  Toh, Hiroaki

62016-06-29 , Springer Nature
津波起源の電磁場の海底観測により地震断層の傾斜方向を推定. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2016-07-04.
A geomagnetic observatory named SFEMS is being operated on the deep seafloor in the northwest Pacific since August, 2001. SFEMS is capable of measuring both scalar and vector geomagnetic fields as well as the seafloor instrument's precise attitudes, which makes it a powerful tool in detecting the so-called oceanic dynamo effect. It was found that SFEMS captured clear magnetic signals generated by the giant tsunamis of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake even for an epicentral distance of larger than 1500 km. Here we report estimates of the focal mechanism of a closer tsunamigenic earthquake in January, 2007 on the seaward slope of the Kuril Trench using tsunami-generated variations in the observed downward magnetic component. Three-dimensional solutions of the tsunami-generated magnetic components were calculated by a new numerical code based on non-uniform thin-sheet approximation and particle motions of seawater using the linear Boussinesq approximation. As a result, a southeast dipping fault alone reproduced the dispersive nature of the downward magnetic component, while any northwest dipping faults could not. This implies that the tsunami-generated electromagnetic fields are useful for determination of focal mechanisms of tsunamigenic earthquakes, since fault dips are one of the most difficult source parameters to estimate even in modern seismology.

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