Distribution and characteristics in waveform and spectrum of seismic events associated with the 2000 eruption of Mt. Usu

Wakana Matsubara, Kiyoshi Yomogida, Junji Koyama, Minoru Kasahara, Makoto Ichiyanagi, Hitoshi Kawakatsu, Mare Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We installed five broadband seismometers around Mt. Usu, Hokkaido, Japan, just before the first surface eruption on March 31, 2000. By using these broadband data with short-period seismograms recorded by Japan Meteorological Agency and Institute of Seismology and Volcanology of Hokkaido University, we located 590 earthquakes associated with the 2000 eruption of Mt. Usu from March 31, 12:58 to April 5, 2000, including 41 low-frequency earthquakes. Low-frequency earthquakes have clear predominant frequencies of about 1.0-1.5 Hz. While the seismicity of tectonic earthquakes was still active on April 5, there were almost no low-frequency events after April 2. All the low-frequency earthquakes occurred within a vertical and narrow zone near the craters of eruption, and they are shallower than 4 km. In contrast, the active area of tectonic earthquakes spreads out in a large area, particularly deep in the south of the craters. From these temporal and spatial patterns, together with GPS and gravity measurements that support the termination of magma activities before April 2, we suggest that low-frequency earthquakes were caused by magma or hydrothermal activities beneath the volcano while tectonic ones were caused by the regional tectonic stress affected by the intrusion of magma body near the craters. Related to long-term magma activities of this eruption, four deep crustal low-frequency events were identified on October 17, 1998 just in the south of Mt. Usu in the depth range of 20-30 km. As proposed for other active volcanoes, these deep crustal events may represent a part of deep magma activities beneath Mt. Usu.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Aug 30
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep crustal earthquake
  • Hypocentral distribution
  • Low-frequency earthquake
  • Usu volcano
  • Volcanic eruption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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