Monitoring seismic velocity change caused by the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake using ambient noise records

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Abstract

[1] We estimated the changes in seismic velocity in the southern Tohoku district of Japan during the six-month period centered on the 11 March 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake, using scattered waves retrieved by autocorrelation of ambient seismic noise. The estimated velocity decrease after the earthquake, and after two large aftershocks in the study area, was as great as 1.5% in the area nearest to the mainshock. The velocity changes displayed gradual healing. The spatial distribution of the velocity change showed a correlation with both the changes in static strain, derived from GPS records, and the peak particle velocity experienced during the three earthquakes, derived from strong-motion records. Therefore, our results show that velocity changes possibly contain information from deep in the crust bearing on coseismic stress release, in addition to shallower effects due to strong ground motion.

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