Exciting news! We're transitioning to the Statewide California Earthquake Center. Our new website is under construction, but we'll continue using this website for SCEC business in the meantime. We're also archiving the Southern Center site to preserve its rich history. A new and improved platform is coming soon!

Ground motions in urban Los Angeles from the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence

Filippos Filippitzis, Monica D Kohler, Thomas H Heaton, Robert W Graves, Robert W Clayton, Richard G Guy, Julian J Bunn, & K Mani Chandy

Published April 28, 2021, SCEC Contribution #10931

We study ground-motion response in urban Los Angeles during the two largest events (M7.1 & M6.4) of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence using recordings from multiple regional seismic networks as well as a subset of 350 stations from the much denser Community Seismic Network. In the first part of our study, we examine the observed response spectral (pseudo) accelerations for a selection of periods of engineering significance (1, 3, 6 and 8 s). Significant ground-motion amplification is present and reproducible between the two events. For the longer periods, coherent spectral acceleration patterns are visible throughout the Los Angeles Basin, while for the shorter periods, the motions are less spatially coherent. However, coherence is still observable at smaller length scales due to the high spatial density of the measurements. Examining possible correlations of the computed response spectral accelerations with basement depth and Vs30, we find the correlations to be stronger for the longer periods. In the second part of the study, we test the performance of two state-of-the-art methods for estimating ground motions for the largest event of the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, namely 3D finite-difference simulations and ground motion prediction equations. For the simulations, we are interested in the performance of the two Southern California Earthquake Center 3D Community Velocity Models (CVM-S and CVM-H). For the ground motion prediction equations, we consider four of the 2014 Next Generation Attenuation-West2 Project equations. For some cases, the methods match the observations reasonably well; however, neither approach is able to reproduce the specific locations of the maximum response spectral accelerations, or match the details of the observed amplification patterns.

Key Words
Earthquake ground motions, Ground motion amplification, Community Seismic Network, Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, Simulation predictions, GMPE predictions

Filippitzis, F., Kohler, M., Heaton, T., Graves, R., Clayton, R., Guy, R., Bunn, J., & Chandy, K. (2021). Ground motions in urban Los Angeles from the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence. Earthquake Spectra, 37(4), 2493-2522. doi: 10.1177/87552930211003916.