2016 Volume 92 Issue 8 Pages 358-371
Beginning in April 2016, a series of shallow, moderate to large earthquakes with associated strong aftershocks struck the Kumamoto area of Kyushu, SW Japan. An Mj 7.3 mainshock occurred on 16 April 2016, close to the epicenter of an Mj 6.5 foreshock that occurred about 28 hours earlier. The intense seismicity released the accumulated elastic energy by right-lateral strike slip, mainly along two known, active faults. The mainshock rupture propagated along multiple fault segments with different geometries. The faulting style is reasonably consistent with regional deformation observed on geologic timescales and with the stress field estimated from seismic observations. One striking feature of this sequence is intense seismic activity, including a dynamically triggered earthquake in the Oita region. Following the mainshock rupture, postseismic deformation has been observed, as well as expansion of the seismicity front toward the southwest and northwest.