Magnitude 8.9 - NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
2011 March 11 05:46:23 UTC
- This is a computer-generated message -- this event has not yet been reviewed by a seismologist.
|Depth||24.4 km (15.2 miles) set by location program|
|Region||NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN|
|Distances||130 km (80 miles) E of Sendai, Honshu, Japan|
178 km (110 miles) E of Yamagata, Honshu, Japan
178 km (110 miles) ENE of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
373 km (231 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan
|Location Uncertainty||horizontal +/- 13.5 km (8.4 miles); depth fixed by location program|
|Parameters||NST=350, Nph=351, Dmin=416.3 km, Rmss=1.46 sec, Gp= 29°,|
M-type="moment" magnitude from initial P wave (tsuboi method) (Mi/Mwp), Version=A
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Versión en Español
The 03/11/2011 earthquake (preliminary magnitude 8.9) near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, occurred as a result of thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone interface plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates. At the latitude of this earthquake, the Pacific plate moves approximately westwards with respect to the North America plate at a velocity of 83 mm/yr. The Pacific plate thrusts underneath Japan at the Japan Trench, and dips to the west beneath Eurasia. The location, depth, and focal mechanism of the March 11 earthquake are consistent with the event having occurred as thrust faulting associated with subduction along this plate boundary. Note that some authors divide this region into several microplates that together define the relative motions between the larger Pacific, North America and Eurasia plates; these include the Okhotsk and Amur microplates that are respectively part of North America and Eurasia.
The March 11 earthquake was preceded by a series of large foreshocks over the previous two days, beginning on March 9th with an M 7.2 event approximately 40 km from the March 11 earthquake, and continuing with a further 3 earthquakes greater than M 6 on the same day.
The Japan Trench subduction zone has hosted 9 events of magnitude 7 or greater since 1973. The largest of these was an M 7.8 earthquake approximately 260 km to the north of the March 11 event, in December 1994, which caused 3 fatalities and almost 700 injuries. In June of 1978, an M 7.7 earthquake 35 km to the southwest caused 22 fatalities and over 400 injuries.
Scientific & Technical Information
The earthquake locations and magnitudes cited in NOAA tsunami statements and bulletins are preliminary and are superseded by USGS locations and magnitudes computed using more extensive data sets.
NOAA Tsunami Bulletins for this Earthquake
General Tsunami Information
- Preliminary Earthquake Report
- U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center:
World Data Center for Seismology, Denver