Japanese Island archipelago is frequently affected by low-magnitude earthquakes and tremors along with some highly destructive phenomenon. One of the most destructive earthquakes of Japan occurred in 1944 that lead to the loss of more than 1,200 lives. Its huge strength resulted from the abrupt release of plate tectonic forces that is a process called subduction, centred on an area beneath Honshu.
Highly destructive earthquakes are caused due to the subduction. Subduction occurs because of excess friction that develops during the sliding process. It causes release of stress. Sudden rupturing of stress leads to dangerous shaking of earth that is felt during earthquake. Even after so many researches our knowledge about controlling the build-up of friction and stress along plate interfaces and in co-seismic zones is not up to the mark.
After a long research it has been identified that subduction-related friction and pre-existing fault structures in the Eurasian or Philippine Sea plate significantly influences earthquake location and rupturing pattern. The degree of friction decreases towards the Nankai Trough, resulting in uneven stress collection that has influenced the modern earthquakes in the area. This latest study suggests that large earthquakes in Japan are most likely to occur in this very same region of the Nankai Trough in the future that can be even more destructive. It is a matter of concern for not only Japan but the entire world. We will have to develop the way to control the subduction.
By- Anita Aishvarya