The 2011 Tohoku earthquake (Mw 9.0) in Japan caused significant coseismic displacement in much of eastern China, where seismic activity has been intense and damaging earthquakes numerous. Did the Tohoku earthquake change the stress field and seismic activity in eastern China? Here, we used a viscoelastic deformation model of layered spherical earth to calculate the coseismic and postseismic displacements and compared the results with Global Positioning System data for eastern China. Using the best‐fitting model, we then calculated the coseismic and postseismic Coulomb stress changes on major active faults in eastern China. Our results show that the Coulomb stress changes caused by the Tohoku earthquake on these faults are less than 0.002 MPa, so were unlikely to significantly alter the stress field or trigger earthquakes in eastern China.
Online Material: Tables of coseismic displacement at 67 stations and time‐dependent displacements before and after the M 9.0 Tohoku earthquake.