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Detailed 3D Fault Representations for the 2019 Ridgecrest, California, Earthquake Sequence

Andreas Plesch, John H. Shaw, Zachary E. Ross, & Egill Hauksson

Published June 30, 2020, SCEC Contribution #10096

We present new 3D source fault representations for the 2019 M6.4 and M7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence. These representations are based on relocated hypocenter catalogs expanded by template matching and focal mechanisms for M4 and larger events. Following the approach of Riesner et al. (2017), we generate reproducible 3D fault geometries by integrating hypocenter, nodal plane, and surface rupture trace constraints. We used the SW-NE striking nodal plane of the July 4th, 2019 M6.4 event to constrain the initial representation of the Southern Little Lake fault (SLLF) both in terms of location and orientation. The Eastern Little Lake fault (ELLF) was constrained by the July 5th, 2019 M7.1 hypocenter and nodal planes of M4 and larger aftershocks aligned with the main trend of the fault. The approach follows a defined workflow that assigns weights to a variety of geometric constraints. These main constraints have a high weight relative to that of individual hypocenters, ensuring that small aftershocks are applied as weaker constraints. The resulting fault planes can be considered averages of the hypocentral locations respecting nodal plane orientations. For the final representation we added detailed, field mapped rupture traces as strong constraints. The resulting fault representations are generally smooth but non-planar and dip steeply. The SLLF and ELLF intersect at nearly right angles and cross on another. The ELLF representation is truncated at the Airport Lake fault to the north and the Garlock fault to the South, consistent with the aftershock pattern. The terminations of the SLLF representation are controlled by aftershock distribution. These new 3D fault representations are available as triangulated surface representations, and are being added to a Community Fault Model (CFM, Plesch et al., 2007; Plesch et al., 2019; Nicholson et al., 2019) for wider use, and to derived products such as a CFM trace map and viewer (Su et al., 2019).

Plesch, A., Shaw, J. H., Ross, Z. E., & Hauksson, E. (2020). Detailed 3D Fault Representations for the 2019 Ridgecrest, California, Earthquake Sequence. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 110(4), 1818-1831. doi: 10.1785/0120200053.

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