1968 Tokachi-oki (Japan) Earthquake Archive

In Memory of Prof. Tokuji Utsu (1928-2004)

1968 5/16 00:49 UTC  40.90N 143.34E  26km           Ms=8.2, Tokachi-oki, Japan

The death toll of this earthquake was over 200.  It is the largest earthquake in the Japan region in the 1960s, and has been studied extensively by many Japanese seismologists. 

This earthquake archive is dedicated to Prof. Tokuji Utsu for his many contributions to seismology, especially in aftershocks and magnitude studies.  Prof. Utsu was the only author who contributed 3 chapters all by himself in the  “International Handbook of Earthquake and Engineering Seismology”, edited by W.H.K. Lee, H. Kanamori, P.C. Jennings, and C. Kisslinger, Part A, p. 691-717; 719-732; 733-746, Academic Press, San Diego, 2002.

We urge scientists and engineers who have studied this earthquake to contribute their materials for this archive. 
Please contact William H. K. Lee at: lee@usgs.gov (office), or whklee@ix.netcom.com (home).

Endowment Donor: Hiroo Kanamori (for providing fund to scan the 1968 Tokachi-oki earthquake seismograms).
Contributors: Charles R. Hutt, William H. K. Lee.

1. Seismograms of the 1968 Tokachi-oki (Japan) Earthquake:

Selected WWSSN seismograms from this earthquake were scanned as part of the USGS/ICSU Scanning Project. Additional seismograms will be scanned in the future.

view directory of compressed tif images (gzip files)

2. Selected Information about the 1968 Tokachi-oki earthquake now Online:     Summary of 1968 Tokachi-oki Earthquake: A two-page summary from the “Summary of Scientific            Data of Major Earthquakes in Japan 1872-1972”, Quick Research Report, No. 9, p. 124-125,            Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 1973. [in Japanese with some English captions].

3. References:

Kanamori, H. (1971). “Focal mechanism of the Tokachi-oki Earthquake of May 16, 1968”, Tectonophysics, v. 12, p. 1-13.

Suzuki, Z. (editor) (1971). “General report on the Tokachi-oki Earthquake of 1968”, Keigaku Pub. Co.


4. A Brief Note about Tokuji Utsu (1928-2004)

Prof. Utsu was educated at the University of Tokyo: B.Sc. (1951) and D.Sc. (1961), both in Geophysics. He served as a Seismologist, Japan Meteorological Agency (1951-1964), Associate Professor, Department of Geophysics, Hokkaido University (1964-1972), Professor, School of Earth Sciences, Nagoya University (1972-1977), Professor, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo (1977-1989), and Director, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo (1985-1988).

Please click: Biographical Sketch for: Tokujii Utsu for a 1-page bio-summary written by Prof. Utsu himself for the “International Handbook of Earthquake and Engineering Seismology, edited by W.H.K. Lee, H. Kanamori, P.C. Jennings, and C. Kisslinger, Part B, p. 1889, Academic Press, San Diego, 2003.


(Last Updated: October 14, 2004)