2013 Volume 122 Issue 1 Pages 159-169
Research on coseismic and postseismic groundwater pressure changes is important for evaluating long-term groundwater stability in seismically active regions such as Japan. It is also important for preventing and reducing earthquake-induced geological disasters such as landslides. This study reviews literature and clarifies abrupt coseismic changes and subsequent postseismic gradual changes in groundwater pressure. Coseismic changes result from ground shaking and coseismic crustal deformation. Postseismic changes are gradual changes, which can be described by a diffusion equation with new initial values and boundary conditions due to ground shaking and coseismic crustal deformation. The effects of crustal deformation on groundwater pressure appear to be limited in the vicinity of the seismic source region, although that of ground shaking can remain in distant areas. Because a variety of factors and conditions affect earthquake-related groundwater pressure changes, each should be investigated to more accurately clarify the effects on coseismic and postseismic groundwater pressure changes. This research may contribute toward clarifying seismicity mechanisms triggered by distant earthquakes.