Abstract

We studied the generation and propagation of high-frequency (above 1 Hz) S-wave energy from the 1995 Hyogo-Ken Nanbu (Kobe), Japan, earthquake (MW 6.9) by analyzing seismogram envelopes of the mainshock and aftershocks. We first investigated the propagation characteristics of high-frequency S-wave energy in the heterogeneous lithosphere around the source region. By applying the multiple lapse time window analysis method to aftershock records, we estimated two parameters that quantitatively characterize the heterogeneity of the medium: the total scattering coefficient and the intrinsic absorption of the medium for S waves. Observed envelopes of aftershocks were well reproduced by the envelope Green functions synthesized based on the radiative transfer theory with the obtained parameters. Next, we applied the envelope inversion method to 13 strong-motion records of the mainshock. We divided the mainshock fault plane of 49 × 21 km into 21 subfaults of 7 × 7 km square and estimated the spatial distribution of the high-frequency energy radiation on that plane. The average constant rupture velocity and the duration of energy radiation for each subfault were determined by grid searching to be 3.0 km/sec and 5.0 sec, respectively. Energy radiated from the whole fault plane was estimated as 4.9 × 1014 J for 1 to 2 Hz, 3.3 × 1014 J for 2 to 4 Hz, 1.5 × 1014 J for 4 to 8 Hz, 8.9 × 1012 J for 8 to 16 Hz, and 9.8 × 1014 J in all four frequency bands. We found that strong energy was mainly radiated from three regions on the mainshock fault plane: around the initial rupture point, near the surface at Awaji Island, and a shallow portion beneath Kobe. We interpret that energetic portions were associated with rupture acceleration, a fault surface break, and rupture termination, respectively.

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