28 coseismic groundwater level decreases have been observed at the Haibara well, Shizuoka prefecture, central Japan, from 1981 to 1997. These groundwater level changes cannot be explained as the poroelastic response to coseismic static strain. We use the atmospheric pressure and tidal responses of the well, rock properties measured on core samples from the same formation and pumping test results to characterize the hydraulic and mechanical properties of the aquifer. The responses of the Haibara well to the M2 Earth tide constituent and to atmospheric pressure have varied over time. In particular, increasing amplitude and decreasing phase lags were observed after the 1993 pumping test, as well as after earthquakes that caused coseismic water level changes. The tidal response, together with the surface load efficiency derived from the atmospheric pressure response, is used to estimate the mechanical properties of the aquifer. The largest amplitude of the M2 constituent, 2.2 mm, is small enough to imply that pore fluid in this system is approximately twice as compressible as water, possibly due to the presence of a small amount of exsolved gas. Diffusion of a coseismic pressure drop near the well could account for the observed time histories of the water level changes. The time histories of the water level drops are well matched by the decay of a coseismic pressure drop at least 80 m away from the well. Removal of a small amount of gas from the formation in that location might in turn explain the coseismic pressure drops.
Additional publication details
Hydrological response to earthquakes in the Haibara well, central Japan - II. Possible mechanism inferred from time-varying hydraulic properties