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2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence and its impact on earthquake science and hazard assessment

Edited by: Manabu Hashimoto, Martha Savage, Takuya Nishimura, Haruo Horikawa, Hiroyuki Tsutsumi

The Kumamoto earthquake sequence that started on 15th April, 2016 resulted in more than 60 fatalities and brought about serious damage to society. It is the first time that the seismic intensity of 7 (on the Japan Meteorological Agency scale) was recorded twice within two days, which unnerved the population in the affected areas and made the response difficult. The earthquakes occurred on known active faults where long-term probability was disseminated, but such complex activity was unexpected. This unique sequence will clearly have a significant impact on the field of earthquake science and related hazard assessment.

This special issue presents results obtained immediately after the event, focusing on multidisciplinary researches regarding the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence, the relevant tectonics and associated phenomena.

Publication started: 14 July 2016

  1. Letter

    Local site effects in Kumamoto City revealed by the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake

    To evaluate local site effects in Kumamoto City, we installed six temporary seismic stations along a 6-km north–south survey line in the city immediately after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake foreshock (Mj 6.4),...

    Seiji Tsuno, Masahiro Korenaga, Kyosuke Okamoto, Hiroaki Yamanaka, Kosuke Chimoto and Takeshi Matsushima

    Earth, Planets and Space 2017 69:37

    Published on: 7 March 2017

  2. Letter

    Geomorphic features of surface ruptures associated with the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake in and around the downtown of Kumamoto City, and implications on triggered slip along active faults

    The ~30-km-long surface ruptures associated with the M w 7.0 (M j 7.3) earthquake at 01:25 JST on April 16 in Kumamoto Prefecture appeared along the previously mapp...

    Hideaki Goto, Hiroyuki Tsutsumi, Shinji Toda and Yasuhiro Kumahara

    Earth, Planets and Space 2017 69:26

    Published on: 2 February 2017

  3. Full paper

    Rupture process of the main shock of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake with special reference to damaging ground motions: waveform inversion with empirical Green’s functions

    In this study, the rupture process of the main shock of the Kumamoto earthquake, particularly the generation of strong ground motions in the frequency range relevant to structural damage, was investigated bas...

    Atsushi Nozu and Yosuke Nagasaka

    Earth, Planets and Space 2017 69:22

    Published on: 31 January 2017

  4. Letter

    Strong motions observed by K-NET and KiK-net during the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence

    The nationwide strong-motion seismograph network of K-NET and KiK-net in Japan successfully recorded the strong ground motions of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence, which show the several notable character...

    Wataru Suzuki, Shin Aoi, Takashi Kunugi, Hisahiko Kubo, Nobuyuki Morikawa, Hiromitsu Nakamura, Takeshi Kimura and Hiroyuki Fujiwara

    Earth, Planets and Space 2017 69:19

    Published on: 30 January 2017

  5. Full paper

    Applicability of source scaling relations for crustal earthquakes to estimation of the ground motions of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake

    A two-stage scaling relationship of the source parameters for crustal earthquakes in Japan has previously been constructed, in which source parameters obtained from the results of waveform inversion of strong ...

    Kojiro Irikura, Ken Miyakoshi, Katsuhiro Kamae, Kunikazu Yoshida, Kazuhiro Somei, Susumu Kurahashi and Hiroe Miyake

    Earth, Planets and Space 2017 69:10

    Published on: 3 January 2017

  6. Letter

    The cause of heavy damage concentration in downtown Mashiki inferred from observed data and field survey of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake

    To understand the cause of heavy structural damage during the mainshock (on April 16, 2016) of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence, we carried out a field survey from April 29 through May 1, 2016, in Mashiki...

    Hiroshi Kawase, Shinichi Matsushima, Fumiaki Nagashima, Baoyintu and Kenichi Nakano

    Earth, Planets and Space 2017 69:3

    Published on: 3 January 2017

  7. Letter

    Seismicity controlled by resistivity structure: the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, Kyushu Island, Japan

    The M JMA 7.3 Kumamoto earthquake that occurred at 1:25 JST on April 16, 2016, not only triggered aftershocks in the vicinity of the epicenter, but also triggered earthquakes that were 50...

    Koki Aizawa, Hisafumi Asaue, Katsuaki Koike, Shinichi Takakura, Mitsuru Utsugi, Hiroyuki Inoue, Ryokei Yoshimura, Ken’ichi Yamazaki, Shintaro Komatsu, Makoto Uyeshima, Takao Koyama, Wataru Kanda, Taro Shiotani, Nobuo Matsushima, Maki Hata, Tohru Yoshinaga…

    Earth, Planets and Space 2017 69:4

    Published on: 3 January 2017

  8. Letter

    Volcanic magma reservoir imaged as a low-density body beneath Aso volcano that terminated the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake rupture

    We resolve the density structure of a possible magma reservoir beneath Aso, an active volcano on Kyushu Island, Japan, by inverting gravity data. In the context of the resolved structure, we discuss the relati...

    Ayumu Miyakawa, Tatsuya Sumita, Yasukuni Okubo, Ryo Okuwaki, Makoto Otsubo, Shimpei Uesawa and Yuji Yagi

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:208

    Published on: 30 December 2016

  9. Letter

    Inelastic strain rate in the seismogenic layer of Kyushu Island, Japan

    Seismic activity is associated with crustal stress relaxation, creating inelastic strain in a medium due to faulting. Inelastic strain affects the stress field around a weak body and causes stress concentratio...

    Satoshi Matsumoto, Takuya Nishimura and Takahiro Ohkura

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:207

    Published on: 28 December 2016

  10. Letter

    Estimation of shallow S-wave velocity structure using microtremor array exploration at temporary strong motion observation stations for aftershocks of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake

    Shallow S-wave velocity V S profiles were estimated for 26 temporary strong motion observation sites surrounding the epicenters of a sequence of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake. The microtrem...

    Kosuke Chimoto, Hiroaki Yamanaka, Seiji Tsuno, Hiroe Miyake and Nobuyuki Yamada

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:206

    Published on: 19 December 2016

  11. Full paper

    Simultaneous estimation of the dip angles and slip distribution on the faults of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake through a weak nonlinear inversion of InSAR data

    At the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, surface ruptures were observed not only along the Futagawa fault, where main ruptures occurred, but also along the Hinagu fault. To estimate the slip distribution on these faul...

    Yukitoshi Fukahata and Manabu Hashimoto

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:204

    Published on: 19 December 2016

  12. Letter

    Ground motion estimation for the elevated bridges of the Kyushu Shinkansen derailment caused by the foreshock of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake based on the site-effect substitution method

    An earthquake of JMA magnitude 6.5 (first event) hit Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, at 21:26 JST, April 14, 2016. Subsequently, an earthquake of JMA magnitude 7.3 (second event) hit Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures...

    Yoshiya Hata, Masaaki Yabe, Akira Kasai, Hiroshi Matsuzaki, Yoshikazu Takahashi and Mitsuyoshi Akiyama

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:199

    Published on: 1 December 2016

  13. Full paper

    Earthquake early warning for the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake: performance evaluation of the current system and the next-generation methods of the Japan Meteorological Agency

    The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake (Kumamoto earthquake sequence) is an extremely high-seismicity event that has been occurring across Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures in Japan since April 14, 2016 (JST). The earthquak...

    Yuki Kodera, Jun Saitou, Naoki Hayashimoto, Shimpei Adachi, Masahiko Morimoto, Yuji Nishimae and Mitsuyuki Hoshiba

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:202

    Published on: 1 December 2016

  14. Letter

    Characteristics of the surface ruptures associated with the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence, central Kyushu, Japan

    The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence started with a M J (Japan Meteorological Agency magnitude) 6.5 event on April 14, and culminated in a M J 7.3 event on April 1...

    Yoshiki Shirahama, Masayuki Yoshimi, Yasuo Awata, Tadashi Maruyama, Takashi Azuma, Yukari Miyashita, Hiroshi Mori, Kazutoshi Imanishi, Naoto Takeda, Tadafumi Ochi, Makoto Otsubo, Daisuke Asahina and Ayumu Miyakawa

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:191

    Published on: 24 November 2016

  15. Full paper

    Seismicity prior to the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes

    We report precursory seismic patterns prior to the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes, as measured by four different methods based on changes in seismicity that can be used for earthquake forecasting: the b-value method, ...

    Kazuyoshi Z. Nanjo, Jun Izutsu, Yoshiaki Orihara, Nobuhiro Furuse, Shoho Togo, Hidetoshi Nitta, Tomohiro Okada, Rika Tanaka, Masashi Kamogawa and Toshiyasu Nagao

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:187

    Published on: 22 November 2016

  16. Letter

    The 2016 Kumamoto–Oita earthquake sequence: aftershock seismicity gap and dynamic triggering in volcanic areas

    The 2016 Kumamoto–Oita earthquake sequence involving three large events (M w ≥ 6) in the central Kyushu Island, southwest Japan, activated seismicities in two volcanic areas with unusual a...

    Takahiko Uchide, Haruo Horikawa, Misato Nakai, Reiken Matsushita, Norio Shigematsu, Ryosuke Ando and Kazutoshi Imanishi

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:180

    Published on: 15 November 2016

  17. Letter

    Surface fault ruptures associated with the 14 April foreshock (Mj 6.5) of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence, southwest Japan

    The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence was a rare event worldwide in that the surface ruptures associated with the largest foreshock (Mj 6.5) of 21:26 (JST), 14 April ruptured again during the mainshock (Mj 7.3...

    Nobuhiko Sugito, Hideaki Goto, Yasuhiro Kumahara, Hiroyuki Tsutsumi, Takashi Nakata, Kyoko Kagohara, Nobuhisa Matsuta and Haruka Yoshida

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:170

    Published on: 3 November 2016

  18. Letter

    Fault source model for the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence based on ALOS-2/PALSAR-2 pixel-offset data: evidence for dynamic slip partitioning

    Series of earthquakes including three M w > 6 earthquakes occurred in Kumamoto prefecture in the middle of the Kyushu island, Japan. In order to reveal the associated crustal deformation s...

    Yuji Himematsu and Masato Furuya

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:169

    Published on: 22 October 2016

    The Erratum to this article has been published in Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:196

  19. Letter

    Continuity, segmentation and faulting type of active fault zones of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake inferred from analyses of a gravity gradient tensor

    We analyze Bouguer anomalies in/around the focal region of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake to examine features, such as continuity, segmentation and faulting type, of the active fault zones related to the earthqu...

    Nayuta Matsumoto, Hiramatsu Yoshihiro and Akihiro Sawada

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:167

    Published on: 21 October 2016

    The Erratum to this article has been published in Earth, Planets and Space 2017 69:47

  20. Full Paper

    Small-displacement linear surface ruptures of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence detected by ALOS-2 SAR interferometry

    We constructed and analyzed the ground surface displacement associated with the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence using satellite radar interferometry images of the Advanced Land Observing Satellite 2. The ra...

    Satoshi Fujiwara, Hiroshi Yarai, Tomokazu Kobayashi, Yu Morishita, Takayuki Nakano, Basara Miyahara, Hiroyuki Nakai, Yuji Miura, Haruka Ueshiba, Yasuaki Kakiage and Hiroshi Une

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:160

    Published on: 26 September 2016

  21. Frontier letter

    Source rupture processes of the foreshock and mainshock in the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence estimated from the kinematic waveform inversion of strong motion data

    The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence started with an MJMA 6.5 foreshock occurring along the northern part of the Hinagu fault, central Kyushu, Japan, and the MJMA 7.3 mainshock occurred just 28 h after the fores...

    Kimiyuki Asano and Tomotaka Iwata

    Earth, Planets and Space 2016 68:147

    Published on: 31 August 2016