The ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario: Verification of Three Simulation Sets

Jacobo Bielak, Robert W. Graves, Kim B. Olsen, Ricardo Taborda, Leonardo Ramirez-Guzman, Steven M. Day, Geoffrey P. Ely, Daniel Roten, Thomas H. Jordan, Philip J. Maechling, John Urbanic, Yifeng Cui, & Gideon Juve

Published 2010, SCEC Contribution #1260

This paper presents a verification of three simulations of the ShakeOut scenario, an Mw 7.8 earthquake on a portion of the San Andreas fault in southern California, conducted by three different groups at the Southern California Earthquake Center using the SCEC Community Velocity Model for this region. We conducted two simulations using the finite difference method, and one by the finite element method, and performed qualitative and quantitative comparisons between the corresponding results. The results are in good agreement with each other; only small differences occur both in amplitude and phase between the various synthetics at ten observation points located near and away from the fault—as far as 150 km away from the fault. Using an available goodness-of-fit criterion all the comparisons scored above 8, with most above 9.2. This score would be regarded as excellent if the measurements were between recorded and synthetic seismograms. We also report results of comparisons based on time–frequency misfit criteria. Results from these two criteria can be used for calibrating the two methods for comparing seismograms. In those cases in which noticeable discrepancies occurred between the seismograms generated by the three groups, we found that they were the product of inherent characteristics of the various numerical methods used and their implementations. In particular, we found that the major source of discrepancy lies in the difference between mesh and grid representations of the same material model. Overall, however, even the largest differences in the synthetic seismograms are small. Thus, given the complexity of the simulations used in this verification, it appears that the three schemes are consistent, reliable and sufficiently accurate and robust for use in future large-scale simulations.

Bielak, J., Graves, R. W., Olsen, K. B., Taborda, R., Ramirez-Guzman, L., Day, S. M., Ely, G. P., Roten, D., Jordan, T. H., Maechling, P. J., Urbanic, J., Cui, Y., & Juve, G. (2010). The ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario: Verification of Three Simulation Sets. Geophysical Journal International, 180(1), 375--404. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04417.x.