About JSAF

Statement of Purpose

JSAF

The Japanese Society for Active Fault Studies (JSAF) is a group devoted to the study of active faults and the related fields. This group comprises geomorphologists, geologists, seismologists, geophysicists, civil engineers, and related people interested in active fault studies. The JSAF was founded in 2007, for the 80th anniversary of "Active fault" in Japanese since first termed in 1927. Membership is open to all interested in active fault studies.


The statement for the Japanese Society for Active Fault Studies

Active fault studies have developed since 1960’s in collaboration with the fields of tectonic geomorphology, structural geology, Quaternary research, and seismology. Active fault researchers have made focused attention on the mapping of active faults on the Japanese island arc and surrounding offshores. The results have been published in the twofold book ‘Nihon no Katsudanso (Active Faults in Japan)’ edited by University of Tokyo and journal of ‘Katsudanso Kenkyu (Active Fault Research)’. It provides information of earthquake hazard to the public and is the foundation for continuing research on Quaternary crustal motions and seismic hazard analysis in Japan. The use of the book for public outreach and education can and should be used more effectively. For example, the Kobe earthquake of 1995 occurred on the active Nojima fault reported in the book Nihon no Katsudanso, though little attention was given to the information until after the earthquake. In response to the 1995 earthquake and recognition of the value of active faults in showing the location and size of future earthquakes, the government initiated a national research program for major active fault zones all over Japan as a part of the basic policy for the earthquake disaster prevention. The research program is ongoing, and the active fault data is being used for long-term forecast of large earthquakes and strong ground motion prediction.

Knowledge of active faults is contributing to the understanding of seismic hazard in Japan, but there remain numerous scientific issues that need to be addressed if active fault data are to reach their full potential in assisting the people and government of Japan to recognize and plan for future earthquakes. Issues that need to be addressed include the relations between fault geometry and seismic source process, recurrence pattern of large earthquakes in time and space, physical and chemical properties of active faults. Fortunately, the tools for active fault researchers have rapidly developed and improved in recent years. These include but not limited by dating methods, remote sensing data, geographical information systems, and geophysical exploration. These newly developed tools are being used to improve our understanding of the geometry and past history of earthquakes on mapped faults in Japan. Much of this information has already been used to develop a new large-scale active fault map of Japan. We need to continue our drive forward to increase the resolution of our understanding and also promote multi-disciplinary researches with related scientific fields.

The active fault research community will continue towards evaluating future hazards appropriately and enlightening the public on the earthquake related hazards for which we must plan. Our efforts will be to build a consensus on the hazard imposed to society by great earthquakes within and along the coasts of Japan. Combining active fault research with civil engineering and architectonics will be necessary to design buildings and critical facilities to withstand surface faulting and to resist strong ground motion during large earthquakes. Information describing the location, size, and frequency of earthquakes on mapped faults must become an important point of discussion for land use zonation and earthquake risk communication to communities across Japan. This effort will require development of dialogue between active fault researchers, public administrators, private-sector experts and all citizens of Japan. Finally, it is important to maintain and promote international cooperation so that we may effectively exchange ideas, improve international relations, and better assess the earthquake hazard of Japan.

Under these circumstances, for the sake of development of basic researches on active faults, comprehensive researches among multidisciplinary fields, and contributions to the society, we here establish the Japanese Society for Active Fault Studies.

22nd September 2007
Founder volunteers of the Japanese Society for Active Fault Studies


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