Tsunami source and inundation features around Sendai Coast, Japan, due to the November 22, 2016 M w 6.9 Fukushima earthquake

Bruno Adriano, Yushiro Fujii, Shunichi Koshimura

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The tsunami source of the 2016 Fukushima Earthquake, which was generated by a normal faulting earthquake mechanism, is estimated by inverting the tsunami waveforms that were recorded by seven tide gauge stations and two wave gauge stations along the north Pacific coast of Japan. Two fault models based on different available moment tensor solutions were employed, and their locations were constrained by using the reverse tsunami travel time from the stations to the epicenter. The comparison of the two fault slip models showed that the fault model with a strike = 49°, dip = 35°, and rake = −89° more accurately simulated the observed tsunami data. This fault model estimated a fault area of 40 km × 32 km. The largest slip was estimated as 4.66 m at a 6.09 km depth, larger slips also concentrated between depths of 6.06 and 10.68 km, and located southwest of the epicenter. Assuming a rigidity of 2.7 × 10 10 N/m2, the estimated moment magnitude was 3.35 × 10 19 Nm (equivalent to Mw = 6.95). In addition, a comparison of nonlinear tsunami simulations using finer bathymetry around Sendai Coast verified that the above fault slip model could better reproduce the tsunami features observed at Sendai Port and its surroundings. Finally, we analyzed the nonlinear tsunami computed from our best fault slip model. Our simulations also corroborated the height of the secondary wave amplitude observed at Sendai Port, which was caused by the reflected tsunami waves from the Fukushima coast, as described in previous studies. Furthermore, we found that the initial positive wave recorded inside Sendai Bay resulted from the addition of the initial incoming wave and the tsunami wave reflected off Sendai Coast, between Natori River and Sendai Port.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalGeoscience Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1


  • The 2016 Fukushima earthquake
  • Tsunami numerical modeling
  • Tsunami source inversion


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