Japan 2011 Earthquake By: Nic Towey

Honshu, Japan, March 11th 2011

Earthquake Magnitude- 9.1, Depth of 29km

Japan Earthquake Epicenter

The earthquake happened on the Pacific plate. The Pacific Plate is a tectonic plate and is the largest plate of all the tectonic plates. This plate moves north-west and it moves at a rate of 2.2-4 inches per year. The other plate at the margin is the North American plate. This plate moves at 0.59-0.89 inches per year and it moves west. The depth of the earthquake from the plates was 17 miles below the Earth’s surface.

Seismograph of the Earthquake Red Line= P waves, Blue Line= S waves.

Earthquake Fault was 17 miles deep and the fault length is about 800 miles.

Effected People and Areas

From the earthquake, the most effected areas were the cities of Ishinomaki, Rikuzentakata, Higashimatsushima, Kesennuma. These were the 4 cities that had the most casualties.

In total, there were 15,853 deaths and over 330,000 people were effected by the earthquake, either leaving them homeless or injured. The majority of the people effected were native people because the deaths were mostly from poorly built structures in poor areas. There are not many tourists who come to these areas and in the largest city, Tokyo, there were only 7 deaths. The earthquake had a major impact on the economy due to all the damages and rebuilding that was necessary after the earthquake and tsunami.

Japan has always been very prominent to earthquakes due to it being an island so close to a major fault line.

Brief History of Japan

Japan is a culture that dates back many years. Samurai used to rule Japan back in the 12th and 13th century. The Japanese had poor relations with the United States and this was proven when they bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Climate and Ecosystems of Japan

Forests are covering Japan all over in all parts of the country. There are 3 types of forests in Japan. Coniferous forests, which have spruce and fir trees, cool-temperature deciduous forests with oaks and beeches, and finally broadleaf evergreen forests with laurel and chinquapin trees. Japan’s climate is similar to how the United States is. Cold in the north, temperate in the middle, and almost tropical in the south. They are hit by torrential monsoons and they get much rain. In the summer it is wet and humid due to the tropical water. The island of Honshu gets around 80 inches of rain per year and has the most rainfall in the summer. Average temperatures can be between 34 and 88 degrees fahrenheit depending on the season. The earthquake occurred in spring time, specifically March. Japan has 4 seasons consisting of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.


Duputel, Z., Rivera, L., Kanamori, H., & Hayes, G. (2012). W phase source inversion for moderate to large earthquakes (1990–2010). GJI, 189(2), 1125-1147.

ATLAS, DUPUTEL, ISC-GEM, Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network, OFFICIAL, and USGS National Earthquake Information Center, PDE. "M 9.1 - near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan." M 9.1 - near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan. USGS, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

National Science Foundation. "Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology." IRIS Wilber. National Science Foundation, 3 Nov. 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

"Climate - Japan." Climate Japan: Temperature (°F), Precipitation (in), When to Go, What to Pack. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.


Created with images by CECAR - Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation R - "Earthquake and Tsunami Japan" • DeltaWorks - "sunset shrine sea" • YoTuT - "Japan"

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