Earthquake Ground Motion Prediction Using the Ambient Seismic Field

German A. Prieto, & Gregory C. Beroza

Published 2008, SCEC Contribution #1141

The waves generated by faulting represent the primary threat posed by most earthquakes. The effects of complex geological structure, such as sedimentary basins, on earthquake ground motions are difficult to predict accurately due to our incomplete knowledge of Earth's structure. We show that it is possible to extract reliable phase and amplitude response for the elastodynamic Green's function from the ambient seismic field using deconvolution. We demonstrate the accuracy of the approach by predicting complex ground motion for a moderate (Mw = 5.1) earthquake in southern California as recorded in the Los Angeles Basin. This suggests a novel approach to seismic hazard analysis in which ground motion from hypothetical future earthquakes is simulated directly, without the need for modeling the detailed heterogeneity of the Earth's crust as an intermediate step.

Prieto, G. A., & Beroza, G. C. (2008). Earthquake Ground Motion Prediction Using the Ambient Seismic Field. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L14304. doi: 10.1029/2008GL034428.