Megathrust earthquakes of magnitude ~ 8 and ensuing large tsunamis occur along the Nankai and Suruga troughs, central Japan, with a recurrence interval of 90–270 years since an AD 684 Hakuho earthquake. Historical records show that the AD 1854 Ansei-Tokai earthquake caused coseismic uplift of ~ 1 m in coastal areas west of Suruga Bay, including the Shimizu Plain, east Shizuoka Prefecture. The 1361 Shohei Tokai earthquake was accompanied by coseismic uplift, but no evidence has been found to indicate uplift before the earthquake. This study examined sediment cores recovered from the coastal beach ridge in the Shimizu Plain using sedimentological and paleontological analyses and radiocarbon dating. We infer from the results that a relative sea-level fall of 1.6 m took place at AD 398–428. This coincides with archeological evidence suggesting the occurrence of a large earthquake in west Shizuoka Prefecture in AD 400. This combination of evidence indicates that the drop in sea level was caused by coseismic uplift associated with a megathrust rupture along the Suruga Trough, with a recurrence interval of ~ 500–1000 years. The results also indicate that a megathrust rupture occurred in the region from the Eastern Nankai Trough to the Suruga Trough at ca. AD 400. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
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