Two-dimensional viscosity structure of the northeastern Japan islands arc-trench system

Jun Muto, Bunichiro Shibazaki, Yoshihiro Ito, Takeshi Iinuma, Mako Ohzono, Takumi Matsumoto, Tomomi Okada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Two-dimensional viscosity profiles were constructed for the northeastern Japan islands arc-trench system covering the source area of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. From seismologically determined models of lithospheric structure, experimentally derived constitutive laws of various rocks, and densely measured geothermal gradient data, we have predicted the steady state effective viscosity across the subduction zone. The profile reveals strong lateral viscosity gradients both parallel and normal to the trench axis. The detailed viscosity structures presented here contribute to accurate evaluation of viscoelastic relaxation components when modeling geodetically measured postseismic deformation at high spatial and temporal resolution. Key Points Two-dimensional realistic viscosity profiles of the NE Japan were proposed Profiles include thermal and structural heterogeneities of the NE Japan Evaluation of viscous relaxation component requires realistic viscosity structure

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4604-4608
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept 16


  • Tohoku-Oki earthquake
  • postseismic deformation


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