Rupture process and strong ground motions of the 2007 Niigataken Chuetsu-Oki earthquake -Directivity pulses striking the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant-
The Niigataken Chuetsu-Oki earthquake occurred on July 16, 2007, northwest-off Kashiwazaki in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, causing severe damages of ten people dead, about 1300 injured, about 1000 collapsed houses and major lifelines suspended. In particular, strong ground motions from the earthquake struck the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant (hereafter KKNPP), triggering a fire at an electric transformer and other problems such as leakage of water containing radioactive materials into air and the sea, although the radioactivity levels of the releases are as low as those of the radiation which normal citizens would receive from the natural environment in a year. The source mechanism of this earthquake is a reverse fault, but whether it is the NE-SW strike and NW dip or the SW-NE strike and SE dip are still controversial from the aftershock distribution and geological surveys near the source. Results of the rupture processes inverted by using the GPS and SAR data, tsunami data and teleseismic data so far did not succeed in determining which fault planes moved. Strong ground motions were recorded at about 390 stations by the K-NET of NIED including the stations very close to the source area. There was the KKNPP which is probably one of buildings and facilities closest to the source area. They have their own strong motion network with 22 three-components' accelerographs locating at ground-surface, underground, buildings and basements of reactors. The PGA attenuation-distance relationships made setting the fault plane estimated from the GPS data generally follow the empirical relations in Japan, for example, Fukushima and Tanaka (1990) and Si and Midorikawa (1999), even if either fault plane, SE dip or NW dip, is assumed. However, the strong ground motions in the site of the KKNPP had very large accelerations and velocities more than those expected from the empirical relations. The surface motions there had the PGA of more than 1200 gals and even underground motions at the basements of the reactors locating five stories below the ground had the PGA of 680 gals. We simulated ground motions using the characterized source model (Kamae and Irikura, 1998) with three asperities and the empirical Green's function method (Irikura, 1986). Then, we found that the source model should be a reverse fault with the NE-SW strike and NW dip to explain the strong motion records obtained near the source area. In particular, strong ground motions in the site of the KKNPP had three significant pulses which are generated as directivity pulses in forward direction of rupture propagation. This is the reason why the strong ground motions in the site of the KKNPP had very large accelerations and velocities. The source model is also verified comparing the observed records at the KKNPP with the numerical simulations by the discrete wavenumber method (Bouchon, 1981).
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 7212 Earthquake ground motions and engineering seismology