Structural heterogeneity in the megathrust zone and mechanism of the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake (Mw 9.0)



[1] The great 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake (Mw 9.0) and its 339 foreshocks and 5,609 aftershocks (9–27 March 2011) were relocated using a three-dimensional seismic velocity model and local P and S wave arrival times. The distribution of relocated hypocenters was compared with a tomographic image of the Northeast Japan forearc. The comparison indicates that the rupture nucleation of the largest events in the Tohoku-oki sequence, including the mainshock, was controlled by structural heterogeneities in the megathrust zone.