We conducted a detailed investigation of an earthquake cluster distributed from the lower crust to the upper crust beneath Hakodate, Hokkaido, which included both low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs) and regular earthquakes. Relocated hypocentres clearly show that both the LFEs and regular earthquakes occurred close to each other in the brittle upper crust of this non-volcanic area, while only LFEs occurred in the lower crust. This observation indicates that LFEs can occur not only in the ductile lower crust, but also in the brittle upper crust, which suggests that LFEs can occur in an environment similar to that of regular earthquakes. Regular earthquakes that occur in close vicinity of LFEs have very similar waveforms and nearly overlapping source regions, which indicate that they reflect the repeated rupture of the same asperity patch on a fault. Temporally, the intervals between events in the repeating earthquake sequence were very short, thus suggesting that they were caused by a sudden increase in pore pressure. The cluster of LFEs and repeating earthquakes, which has a rod-like distribution extending from the bottom of the crust to the surface and tilted slightly eastward, might represent a pathway of aqueous fluid movement sourced from the subducting slab.
- Earthquake dynamics
- Earthquake source observations
- Rheology and friction of fault zones
- Seismicity and tectonics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology