Stress Release Process Along an Intraplate Fault Analogous to the Plate Boundary: A Case Study of the 2017 M5.2 Akita-Daisen Earthquake, NE Japan

Keisuke Yoshida, Taka'aki Taira, Yoshiaki Matsumoto, Tatsuhiko Saito, Kentaro Emoto, Toru Matsuzawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Stress accumulation and release inside the plate remains poorly understood compared to that at the plate boundaries. Spatiotemporal variations in foreshock and aftershock activities can provide key constraints on time-dependent stress and deformation processes inside the plate. The 2017 M5.2 Akita-Daisen intraplate earthquake in NE Japan was preceded by intense foreshock activity and triggered a strong sequence of aftershocks. We examine the spatiotemporal distributions of foreshocks and aftershocks and determine the coseismic slip distribution of the mainshock. Our results indicate that seismicity both before and after the mainshock was concentrated on a planar structure with N-S strike that dips steeply eastward. We observe a migration of foreshocks toward the mainshock rupture area, suggesting the possibility that foreshocks were triggered by aseismic phenomena preceding the mainshock rupture. The mainshock rupture propagated toward the north, showing less slip beneath foreshock regions. The stress drop of the mainshock was 1.4 MPa, and the radiation efficiency was 0.72. Aftershocks were intensely triggered near the edge of large coseismic slip regions where shear stress increased. The aftershock region expanded along the fault strike, which can be attributed to the postseismic aseismic slip of the mainshock. We find that the foreshocks, mainshock, aftershocks, and postseismic slip released stress at different segments along the fault, which may reflect differences in frictional properties. Obtained results were similar to those observed for interplate earthquakes, which supports the hypothesis that the deformation processes along plate boundaries and intraplate faults are fundamentally the same.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JB019527
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1


  • aseismic slip
  • hypocenter migration
  • intraplate earthquake
  • pore pressure
  • stress release
  • waveform inversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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