Heterogeneous rheology controlled postseismic deformation of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake

Jun Muto, Bunichiro Shibazaki, Takeshi Iinuma, Yoshihiro Ito, Yusaku Ohta, Satoshi Miura, Yoshihiko Nakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Using two-dimensional finite element modeling, we reproduced the observed postseismic deformation of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. Our model, which accounts for the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary and weak zones beneath volcanoes, was able to reproduce small-scale (<20 km) perturbations in postseismic deformation observed by the dense geodetic network, such as local subsidence around Quaternary volcanoes. The inverted afterslip has a peak at the downdip limit of the main rupture region on the subducting plate interface, consistent with physical predictions. The combination of afterslip and viscoelastic relaxation in a heterogeneous rheology model explains the observations well, even on small scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4971-4978
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Tohoku-Oki earthquake
  • geodesy
  • postseismic deformation
  • rheology
  • subduction zone
  • viscoelastic relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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