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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Coseismic Groundwater Drawdown Along Crustal Ruptures During the 2016 Mw 7.0 Kumamoto Earthquake

  • Author(s): Hosono, T
  • Yamada, C
  • Shibata, T
  • Tawara, Y
  • Wang, CY
  • Manga, M
  • Rahman, ATMS
  • Shimada, J
  • et al.

Groundwater-level changes after earthquakes provide insight into changes in hydrogeological properties such as permeability and pore pressure. Quantifying such changes, both their location and magnitude, is usually hindered by limited data. Using extensive high-resolution water-level monitoring records, we provide direct evidence of significant groundwater drawdown (4.74-m maximum) over a 160-km area along crustal ruptures after the M 7.0, 2016, Kumamoto earthquake. Approximately 10 m of water disappeared within 35 min after the main shock. The loss of water was not caused by static-strain driven pore-pressure decrease nor by releasing of water through structural pathways, but most likely by water transfer downwards through open cracks. Such changes may impact the security of water resources, the safety of underground waste repositories, and contaminant transport in seismically active areas. 2 6 3 w

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