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Book Chapter

Spatial variability in sediment lithology and sedimentary processes along the Japan Trench: use of deep-sea turbidite records to reconstruct past large earthquakes

By
Ken Ikehara
Ken Ikehara
Institute of Geology and Geoinformation, Geological Survey of Japan, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba Central 7, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–8567, Japan
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Kazuko Usami
Kazuko Usami
Institute of Geology and Geoinformation, Geological Survey of Japan, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba Central 7, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–8567, Japan
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Toshiya Kanamatsu
Toshiya Kanamatsu
R&D Centre for Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan Agency of Marine Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 2-15 Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan
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Kazuno Arai
Kazuno Arai
R&D Centre for Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan Agency of Marine Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 2-15 Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, JapanPresent address: Center for Advanced Marine Core Research, Kochi University, B200 Monobe, Nankoku, Kochi 783-8502, Japan
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Asuka Yamaguchi
Asuka Yamaguchi
Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8564, Japan
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Rina Fukuchi
Rina Fukuchi
Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8564, Japan
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract

Large earthquakes and related tsunamis serve as triggering mechanisms that generate turbidity currents which form turbidites. The event deposits from the recent 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami are observed throughout a wide area along the Pacific coast of Tohoku, northern Japan, extending from the coast through the shelf and slope, to the trench floor. Spatio-temporal correlation of turbidites and other tsunamigenic deposits, such as those generated in the 2011 event, can be used to reconstruct the recurrence history of large earthquakes and tsunamis. Here we use sediment cores and sub-bottom profiles to analyse the depositional setting along the Japan Trench, and show that the environment is ideal for preserving turbidites. The subducting Pacific Plate creates graben or basins along the trench floor that accommodate the episodic deposition of fine-grained turbidites; and interseismic hemipelagic deposits that form with high sedimentation rates along the Japan Trench effectively cover earthquake-induced turbidites and preserve the deposits as a geological record of large earthquakes. Therefore, small deep-sea basins with high sedimentation rates, such as in and around the Japan Trench floor, are favourable environments for studies of turbidite palaeoseismology.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Tsunamis: Geology, Hazards and Risks

E. M. Scourse
E. M. Scourse
MCM Environmental Services Ltd, UK
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N. A. Chapman
N. A. Chapman
University of Sheffield, UK
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D. R. Tappin
D. R. Tappin
British Geological Survey, UK
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S. R. Wallis
S. R. Wallis
Nagoya University, JapanUniversity of Tokyo, Japan
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The Geological Society of London
Volume
456
ISBN electronic:
9781786203373
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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