QuakeRecNankai is a BRAIN-be funded project looking at earthquakes and tsunamis in south central Japan.
The east coast of Japan is prone to devastating earthquakes and tsunamis, as tragically demonstrated on 11 March 2011 by the Tohoku-oki earthquake (magnitude 9.0) and tsunami. The Nankai subduction zone, to the southwest of the area affected by the Tohoku-oki disaster and facing the densely populated and heavily industrialized eastern coastline of Central and West Japan, is expected to generate another earthquake and tsunami in the near future.
In response to the 2011 earthquake, the Cabinet Office of the Japanese central government proposed new guidelines for assessing the risk of similar earthquakes affecting the Nankai subduction zone. These guidelines call for the largest possible magnitude of earthquake to be taken into account.
The QuakeRecNankai project aims to reconstruct past earthquakes along the Nankai subduction zone. The project combines fieldwork in coastal plain areas and lakes, advanced sedimentological and geochemical analyses, innovative dating techniques, tsunami inundation modelling and risk and hazard assessment, with government policy support and public outreach.
The project unites a consortium of international experts, including Belgian teams from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Ghent University and the University of Liège who provide expertise in paleo-tsunami and paleoseismological research, two Japanese teams from AIST and Tokyo University, with expertise in paleo-tsunami and limnogeological research, and a team from Cologne University with expertise in tsunami-deposit dating.