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Seasonal modulation of crustal seismicity in northeastern Japan driven by snow load
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  • Taku Ueda,
  • Aitaro Kato,
  • Christopher W Johnson,
  • Toshiko Terakawa
Taku Ueda
Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Aitaro Kato
Earthquake Research Institute, The University of Tokyo
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Christopher W Johnson
Los Alamos National Laboratory
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Toshiko Terakawa
Nagoya University
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Numerous studies have reported that surface hydrological loading can seasonally modulate seismicity rates at crustal depths. For example, substantial winter snow accumulation occurs across the Japanese Islands, and these snowy regions appear to have seasonally modulated the occurrence of previous large inland earthquakes. Therefore, it is important to investigate the impact of seasonal stress changes on crustal seismicity to deepen our understanding of earthquake generation. Here we constrain seasonal changes in the surface load across northeastern Japan using Global Navigation Satellite System surface displacements and evaluate the potential relationship between temporal trends in inland seismicity and estimated seasonal stress changes. The spatial distribution of the seasonal surface load is consistent with snow depth along the Sea of Japan. The inland seismicity beneath northeastern Japan is modestly modulated by the seasonal stress changes that are induced by the annual snow load. However, this seasonal response is weaker than that in other regions. This weak modulation may be due to the small surface-load-induced stress perturbation relative to the long-term-averaged stressing rate and/or the limited presence of crustal fluids to trigger seismicity in Japan.
08 Nov 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
08 Nov 2023Published in ESS Open Archive