Japan quake study sounds alarm at 'creeping fault' doctrine
PARIS (AFP) - Seismologists said on Wednesday they have found clues as to why Japan's 2011 mega-earthquake occurred on a fault previously deemed to be of little threat.
The findings have repercussions for the country's earthquake strategy and for other locations, including California's notorious San Andreas fault, with a similar seismic profile, they said.
Hiroyuki Noda of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and Nadia Lapusta of the California Institute of Technology based their findings on a computer model of the March 11, 2011 quake, which triggered a tsunami that killed about 19,000 people and wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, sparking the world's worst atomic crisis in a generation.
The 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off north-eastern Japan in part of the so-called Japan Trench, where the Pacific plate ducks beneath the Okhotsk plate, on which the Japanese archipelago lies.