Rupture process of the 1944 Tonankai earthquake (Ms 8.1) from the inversion of teleseismic and regional seismograms

Gene A. Ichinose*, Hong Kie Thio, Paul G. Somerville, Toshiaki Sato, Toru Ishii

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


We digitized teleseismic and regional records of the 1944 Tonankai earthquake. We used the multiple time window method to invert these records for the spatial and temporal distribution of slip and rake. We assume a 220 × 140 km fault with a spacing of 20 × 20 km and a maximum rupture velocity of 2.5 km/s. The inversion resolved an asperity along the accretionary wedge and under the Shima and Atsumi Peninsulas. The rupture propagated from southwest to northeast, and there was little slip near the hypocenter, consistent with the absence of uplift in the overlying submarine forearc basin. The peak slip is 2.3 m, and the total seismic moment is 2.4 × 1028 dyn cm (Mw 8.2). We compared the predicted and observed vertical geodetic displacements and inferred that the limit of rupture is consistent with the change from subsidence to uplift west of the Atsumi Peninsula. This suggested that the earthquake did not rupture the plate interface in the Tokai gap. We modeled the tsunami using sea-bottom displacements generated from this slip model. The tide gauge amplitudes and frequency content are consistent with those predicted. Resolution tests from inverting synthetic seismograms computed using a simplified slip model indicated that the combination of teleseismic and regional data sets best recovers the asperity locations and peak slips given similar station geometry and degrees of freedom. An inversion of the synthetic regional data set indicates that slip artifacts can occur early in the rupture process due to many clipped records while the inversion of synthetic teleseismic data set had less resolution and recovered only 50% of the peak slip.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Tonankai earthquake
  • rupture process
  • waveform inversion
  • Nankai trough


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