Seismotectonics Research Group

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Our group aims to elucidate the physical and mechanical properties of seismogenic zone and the generation processes of large earthquakes by linking field surveys of fault rocks, laboratory experiments, numerical simulations, seismological observations and data analysis. We are currently making a seismotectonic map in Kanto region based on detailed local stress fields, studying the deformation process of fault rocks from brittle to ductile region, and developing the computer simulation technique of earthquake cycles by integrating paleoearthquake information and geophysical data. These studies provide a basis for improving accuracies of long-term earthquake forecasting and evaluating the size of earthquake.

Research approach of our group to elucidate the physical and mechanical properties of seismogenic zone and the generation processes of large earthquakes.


Koji Masuda (Leader, Group)

I am studying on earthquake generation and faulting processes based on high-pressure and high-temperature experiments in the laboratory. My research interests include experimental rock deformation, effects of water on rock deformation, earthquake mechanics, and high-pressure mineralogy.


Norio Shigematsu (Senior Researcher)

I am studying on inland-earthquake generation processes based on the investigation of geological survey of exhumed past hypocentral regions. I will use this information to investigate the processes of deformation of rocks in the laboratory at high pressures and high temperatures to improve accuracy of forecasting a large earthquake occurrence.

Miki Takahashi (Senior Researcher)

In order to understand earthquake generation mechanisms, I am measuring the deformation and physical properties of rocks under the high-temperatures and high-pressures in the laboratory. My research interests focus on the frictional behaviors of materials in brittle-plastic transition regions and effects of pore fluid pressure on the frictional behaviors.

Takahiko Uchide (Senior Researcher)

I am interested in earthquake source processes from various points of view, such as the scaling of earthquake rupture growth and frequency-dependent seismic radiation from an earthquake source. I am an expert at seismological data analysis.

I am currently working on, in addition to the above, source properties of small and moderate earthquakes, which may give us a clue to understand past and future large earthquakes on the same active fault.

Berend Antonie Verberne (Researcher)

My research focuses on the material-physical processes controlling earthquake rupture. I conduct laboratory experiments using deformation apparatuses designed to simulated fault-slip in the upper 20-30 km of Earth’s crust. Deformed samples are subject to micro- and nanostructural analysis using light microscopes, as well as (FIB-)SEM, TEM, Raman, AFM, or any other tool that enables us to further characterize the physical processes controlling fault friction.

Masanori Kido (AIST Postdoctoral Researcher)

I have conducted research on estimation of strength of rocks in the lower crust and clarification of deformation mechanism by high temperature and high pressure deformation experiments. And I especially focus on the effect of water on plastic deformation of rocks. I would like to advance the elucidation of the mechanical properties of rocks necessary for rheological models of fault zones.

Takuma Katori (Research Assistant)

I'm conducting the geological study of an exhumed fault zone, the Median Tectonic Line (MTL) in SW Japan. To elucidate the heteregeneous fault deformation including the generation of earthquakes, i aim to construct a 3D fault zone architecture model based on the results obtained from field observation and rock analyses.

Yo Kun'u (Research Assistant)

I've been working on building a neural network-based model to detect the signal of slow earthquakes from raw seismic waveform data automatically. Slow earthquakes have been observed to precede megathrust earthquakes, which may suggest an underlying interaction between them. I'm aiming to provide new information on the physics of the nucleation process of megathrust earthquake by monitoring slow earthquakes precisely.

Reiken Matsushita (Technical Staff)

I am studying automated seismic data processing techniques to improve the accuracy of seismic phase picking and hypocenter determination. So far, I have learned how to manually pick seismic phases, determine hypocenters and magnitudes of earthquakes, unify the data formats of different datasets, etc. On the basis of these experiences, I aim to develop a sophisticated system for automated seismic data processing incorporating various state-of-the-art techniques and hope to contribute towards the elucidation of large earthquake generation mechanism.

Misato Nakai (Technical Staff)

I have been working on database managements, scripting and map drawings by various GIS softwares, and engaged in research assistances and building systems for research results with those skills.