The southern Kanto region has had two shocks of magnitude 8 or greater during the past 1,000 yr. They were the 1703 and 1923 earthquakes, which occurred along the Sagami trough, a northeastern boundary of the Philippine Sea crustal plate in contact with the Asian plate. Although they occurred in nearly the same region, the 1703 earthquake was significantly different from the 1923 earthquake in the distribution of coastal uplift and tsunami height. The 1703 earthquake deformation is described on the basis of the height of the marine terraces along the coast of the southern Kanto region.
The 1703 earthquake is interpreted, as is the 1923 earthquake, as the result of low-angle right-lateral faulting with a thrust component at the plate boundary. However, the fault surface in 1703 was longer (about 200 km) and was located farther east than that of the 1923 earthquake. On the basis of the pattern of coastal uplift and the trend of the Sagami trough, the fault surface of the 1703 earthquake can be divided into three planes, which involve the eastern part of the source region of the 1923 earthquake to the west (plane A), the Kamogawa submarine cliff in the middle (plane B), and a segment near the source region of the 1953 Boso-Oki earthquake (M = 8.0) to the east (plane C).
The Boso and Miura Peninsulas in the southern Kanto region have been uplifted during at least the last 6,000 yr, and major uplifts have been accompanied by earthquakes like those of 1703 and 1923 many times. The recurrence time of similar uplifts is estimated at 800 to 1,500 yr, on the basis of the numbers of the uplifted Holocene terraces in the Boso Peninsula, the rate of upheaval during the last 6,000 yr, and the present geodetic data. Thus, it is unlikely that major earthquakes such as the 1703 and 1923 earthquakes will occur in the same segments in the near future. The Oiso area, however, which is located west of the western end of the 1703 faulting, seems higher in seismic risk than the other parts of the Sagami trough fault, because the sum of the recent uplift in the 1703 and 1923 earthquakes in that area is significantly less than the average rate of uplift there during the past 6,000 yr.