A strong earthquake of M7.2 (MW6.7-6.9) occurred on 14 June 2008 in the north-central part of Northeastern Japan. It was named the Iwate-Miyagi Nairiku Earthquake in 2008. Several seismic models show a 25-30km long reverse fault in the NNE-SSW direction and a westward inclination. Although some geological thrusts with a similar trend are known, as shown in Fig. 1, none of them has been recognized as an active fault. Surface faults associated with the earthquake were found at several points along the geological thrusts. The quake induced many mass-movements in the mountainous and hilly area, which is composed mostly of Neogene to Pleistocene volcaniclastic rocks (Fig. 1), near the seismic fault and particularly on the western side (upper block). Most of the damage caused by the earthquake was closely connected to mass-movements.
A large-scale block glide amounting to about 7×107m3 in the volume of dislocated mass (Figs. 2, 3) occurred in the northern half of the pre-existing landslide area composed of poorly-consolidated pyroclastic flow deposits with a welded cap around 5Ma (Np3 in Fig. 1). The almost horizontal slip surface of the glide is considered to have been formed in the underlying lacustrine beds. A large collapse, occurring at a slope on which snow remained on Kurikoma Volcano, composed of Quaternary andesitic lavas and pyroclastics (Qm2 in Fig. 1), formed a debris flow (Fig. 4) which buried a lodge at Komanoyu Spa. Many landslides checked river channels. One of them was observed at Ogawara, where a slide of a spur composed of Pleistocene pyroclastic deposits checked the Ichihasama River (Fig. 5). The collapse of Matsurube Bridge, a three-span 95 m-long bridge over a tributary of the Iwai River, was also entirely caused by a landslide at the north-facing slope of a narrow ridge (Fig. 6). A surface fault appeared in rice fields at Mochikorobashi on the side of a tributary of the Koromo River (Fig. 7). The trace of the water's edge and lines of planted rice indicate a co-seismic uplift and a right-lateral offset with a clockwise turn of the trend (Fig. 8).