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Earthquake archaeology in Japan; an overview

Gina L. Barnes
Earthquake archaeology in Japan; an overview (in Ancient earthquakes, Manuel Sintubin (editor), Iain S. Stewart (editor), Tina M. Niemi (editor) and Erhan Altunel (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2010) 471: 81-96


Earthquake archaeology developed in Japan simultaneously with that in the Mediterranean in the mid-1980s. By 1996, evidence of earthquake occurrence had been documented at 378 sites throughout the archipelago. The main features identified include various results of liquefaction, faults, landslips, and surface cracking. This evidence differs greatly from the standard Mediterranean focus on building damage, and the reasons for the very different natures of archaeoseismology in these world regions are explained herein. This article recounts the development of this new subfield, inspired by the interest of geomorphologist Sangawa Akira and taken to its most recent advances in identifying soft-sediment deformation structures by geoarchaeologist Matsuda Jun-ichiro. The evidence of earthquake activity at archaeological sites can be matched with earthquakes caused by either active fault movement or subduction. The historical record of earthquake occurrence, already documented back to 599 C.E., is extended into the prehistorical record through relative dating of artifacts and features on archaeological sites. Both the identification and the dating of the archaeological evidence of earthquakes can be challenged, though the "territorial approach" gives the data a significance that is not achieved through analysis of single sites.

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 471
Title: Earthquake archaeology in Japan; an overview
Title: Ancient earthquakes
Author(s): Barnes, Gina L.
Author(s): Sintubin, Manueleditor
Author(s): Stewart, Iain S.editor
Author(s): Niemi, Tina M.editor
Author(s): Altunel, Erhaneditor
Affiliation: University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, United Kingdom
Affiliation: Katholieke Univesiteit Leuven, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Leuven, Belgium
Pages: 81-96
Published: 2010
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 52
Accession Number: 2011-015762
Categories: Quaternary geologySeismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sects., geol. sketch maps
N30°00'00" - N45°00'00", E129°00'00" - E147°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Plymouth, GBR, United KingdomUniversity of Missouri-Kansas City, USA, United StatesEskisehir Osmangazi University, TUR, Turkey
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201110
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