We investigated V P /V S changes in the upper crust of the Japanese islands after the 2011 M W 9.0 Tohoku-Oki megathrust earthquake. Abrupt V P /V S changes with azimuth-dependent variations were observed after the megathrust earthquake. The V P /V S changes ranged between −0.0458 (±0.0012) and 0.0422 (±0.0033). Large localized V P /V S changes over regional distances suggested medium-dependent deformation. Peak V P /V S changes were observed along paths subparallel or subperpendicular to the directions toward the megathrust earthquake. The V P /V S changes displayed characteristic 2θ variations as a function of the azimuth difference, suggesting azimuthal seismic anisotropy. The V P /V S ratio recovered gradually over time. Some regions presented permanent V P /V S changes. The azimuthal seismic anisotropy may have developed from preferential crack orientation as a consequence of the combined effects of lithospheric displacements and a depth-dependent ambient stress field. It appears that recovery of the medium properties may take decades.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)