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Geophysical Research Letters


Theoretical modeling and investigations of recent subduction zone earthquakes show that geodetic estimates of interseismic coupling and the spatial distribution of coseismic rupture are correlated. However, the utility of contemporary coupling in guiding construction of rupture scenarios has not been evaluated on the world’s most hazardous faults. Here we demonstrate methods for scaling coupling to slip to create rupture models for southwestern Japan’s Nankai Trough. Results show that coupling-based models produce distributions of ground surface deformation and tsunami inundation that are similar to historical and geologic records of the largest known Nankai earthquake in CE 1707 and to an independent, quasi-dynamic rupture model. Notably, these models and records all support focused subsidence around western Shikoku that makes the region particularly vulnerable to flooding. Results imply that contemporary coupling mirrors the slip distribution of a full-margin, 1707-type rupture, and Global Positioning System measurements of surface motion are connected with the trough’s physical characteristics.



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