Depth-Dependent Structure of the Landers Fault Zone from Trapped Waves Generated by Aftershocks

Yong-Gang Li, John E. Vidale, Fei Xu, & Keiiti Aki

Published 2000, SCEC Contribution #478

We delineate the internal structure of the Johnson Valley and Kickapoo faults (Landers southern rupture) at seismogenic depth using fault zone trapped waves generated by aftershocks. Trapped waves recorded at the dense linear seismic arrays deployed across and along the surface breaks of the 1992 M7.5 Landers earthquake show large amplitudes and dispersive wave trains following the S waves. Group velocities of trapped waves measured from multiple band-pass-filtered seismograms for aftershocks occurring at different depths between 1.8 km and 8.2 km show an increase in velocity with depth. Velocities range from 1.9 km/s at 4 Hz to 2.6 km/s at 1 Hz for shallow events, while for deep events, velocities range from 2.3 km/s at 4 Hz to 3.1 km/s at 1 Hz. Coda-normalized amplitude spectra of trapped waves peak in amplitudes at 3–4 Hz for stations located close to the fault trace. The amplitude decays rapidly with the station offset from the fault zone. Normalized amplitudes also decrease with distance along the fault, giving an apparent Q of 30 for shallow events and 50 for deep events. We evaluated depth-dependent fault zone structure and its uncertainty from these measurements plus our previous results from near-surface explosion-excited trapped waves [Li et al, 1999] in a systematic model parameter-searching procedure using a three-dimensional (3-D) finite difference computer code [Graves, 1996]. Our best model of the Landers fault zone is 250 m wide at the surface, tapering to 100–150 m at 8.2 km depth. The shear velocity within the fault zone increases from 1.0 to 2.5 km/s and Q increases from 20 to 60 in this depth range. Fault zone shear velocities are reduced by 35 to 45% from those of the surrounding rock and also vary along the fault zone with an increase of ∼10% near ends of the southern rupture zone.

Li, Y., Vidale, J. E., Xu, F., & Aki, K. (2000). Depth-Dependent Structure of the Landers Fault Zone from Trapped Waves Generated by Aftershocks. Journal of Geophysical Research, 105(B3), 6237-6254.