Static slip model of the M w 9.0 Tohoku (Japan) earthquake

Results from joint inversion of terrestrial GPS data and seafloor GPS/acoustic data

Fa Qi Diao, Xiong Xiong, Yong Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Based on co-seismic displacements recorded by terrestrial GPS stations and seafloor GPS/acoustic stations, the static slip model of the 2011 M w 9. 0 Tohoku earthquake was determined by inverting the data using a layered earth model. According to a priori information, the rupture surface was modeled with a geometry that is close to the actual rupture, in which the fault dip angle increases with depth and the fault strike varies with the trend of the trench. As shown by the results inferred from the joint inversion, the "geodetic" moment is 3. 68 × 10 22 N m, corresponding to M w 9. 01, and the maximum slip is positioned at a depth of 13. 5 km with a slip magnitude of 45. 8 m. Rupture asperities with slip exceeding 10 m are mainly distributed from 39. 6 to 36. 97°N, over a length of almost 240 km along the trench. The slip was mostly concentrated at depths shallower than 40 km, up-dip of the hypocenter. "Checkerboard" tests reveal that a joint inversion of multiple datasets can resolve the slip distribution better than an inversion with terrestrial GPS data only-especially when aiming to resolve slip at shallow depths. Thus, the joint inversion results obtained by this work may provide a more reliable slip model than the results of other studies that are only derived from terrestrial GPS data or seismic waveform data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1990-1997
Number of pages8
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • curved rupture surface
  • M 9.0 Tohoku earthquake
  • seafloor GPS/acoustic data
  • static slip model
  • terrestrial GPS data

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