Articles | Volume 12, issue 1
Research article
12 Jan 2012
Research article |  | 12 Jan 2012

Variations of geoelectric potential differences associated with an anomalous volumetric strain change in the region of expected Tokai Earthquake, Japan

Y. Orihara, M. Kamogawa, T. Nagao, and S. Uyeda

Abstract. For the prediction of the expected Tokai Earthquake (EQ), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has been observing volumetric strain changes to detect its presumed pre-slip phenomena in Tokai and South Kanto regions. In 1998, an anomalous volumetric strain change, lasting for 5 days, which initially attracted much attention as a possible precursor to the Tokai EQ, was observed at Shimizu station in the Tokai area. Eventually, the Tokai EQ did not occur and the causal mechanism of the observed anomaly was unknown. However, we found variations of geoelectric potential differences (GPD) possibly associated with the anomaly by applying Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to the GPD data taken in the same area. From the polarities of the observed GPD changes, we infer that these GPD variations were caused by electrokinetic effects of groundwater motion, which might have been related with the strain changes. These results imply that the GPD observations may assist us in understanding the nature of EQ precursory phenomena.