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Temporal changes of site response during the M9.0 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake

Chunquan Wu, & Zhigang Peng

Published 2011, SCEC Contribution #1560

The recent Mw9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and its aftershocks generated widespread strong shakings as large as 2700 Gal along the east coast of Japan. Here we systematically analyze temporal changes of material properties and nonlinear site response in the shallow crust associated with the Tohoku-Oki main shock, using seismic data recorded by the Japanese Strong Motion Network KIK-Net. We compute the spectral ratios of windowed records from a pair of surface and borehole stations, and then use the sliding-window spectral ratios to track the temporal changes in the site response of various sites at different levels of peak ground acceleration (PGA). Our preliminary results show clear drop of resonant frequency of up to 70% during the Tohoku-Oki main shock at 6 sites with PGA from 600 to 1300 Gal. In the site MYGH04 where two distinct groups of strong ground motions were recorded, the resonant frequency briefly recovers in between, and then followed by an apparent logarithmic recovery. We investigate the percentage drop of peak frequency and peak spectral ratio during the Tohoku-Oki main shock at different PGA levels, and find that at most sites they are correlated.

Wu, C., & Peng, Z. (2011). Temporal changes of site response during the M9.0 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake. Earth, Planets and Space, 63(7), 791-795. doi: 10.5047/eps.2011.06.011.