Institute: GNS Science
Title: Principal Scientist
Country: New Zealand
Period: 2016/09/13 - 2016/12/09
Theme: Understanding spatio-temporal changes in stress associated with Mw6.8 SSE in the Hikurangi subduction zone
Host: Kimihiro MOCHIZUKI
Introduction: My home institution is GNS Science based in Wellington, New Zealand. GNS Science is a government owned Institute that undertakes earth science research in New Zealand and the Ross Sea, Antarctica. My main interest is in how plate tectonics work. I use seismological methods to provide detailed images of the earth’s crust and integrate these with a wide range of other geophysics and geological observations. The results underpin knowledge of geological hazards primarily along the East Coast of the North Island. I have worked extensively with the international academic community on North Island projects as well as co-ordinating GNS Science Programme of Geological Exploration of New Zealand’s EEZ.

An international collaborative research group from NZ, Japan and USA collected one-year-long (May 2014 to June 2015) ocean-bottom seismic, geodetic, and electro-magnetic data in the Hikurangi margin during the HOBITSS campaign. The comprehensive geophysical network fortuitously captured a large Slow Sip Event, SSE, (Mw 6.8) within the network during September/October 2014 - the second largest known SSE for the region. I will use part of this seismic data to work with Associate Professor Mochizuki and apply different seismic methods to map and identify changes in physical properties across a cycle of slow-slip deformation. We will seek to test the hypothesis that seemingly innocuous 'slow' deformation can rapidly change stresses, not only on the subduction interface, but also on nearby faults, potentially increasing the likelihood of mega earthquakes.

It is a pleasure to be able to return to Tokyo and continue my collaboration with the excellent researchers at ERI. The parallels in the tectonics of New Zealand and Japan mean our countries have much in common. Please stop by my office at 511 in Building#1 if you want to chat.
Fiscal Year: 2016