Dynamic modeling of the 1992 Landers earthquake

Sophie Peyrat, Kim B. Olsen, & Raul Madariaga

Published 2001, SCEC Contribution #554

We have used observed band-pass filtered accelerograms and a previously determined slip distribution to invert for the dynamic rupture propagation of the 1992 Landers earthquake. In our simulations, dynamic rupture grows under the simultaneous control of initial stress and rupture resistance by friction, which we modeled using a simple slip-weakening law. We used a simplified Landers fault model where the fault segments were combined into a single vertical, planar fault. By trial and error we modified an initial stress field, inferred from the kinematic slip distribution proposed by Wald and Heaton [1994], until dynamic rupture generated a rupture history and final slip distribution that approximately matched those determined by the kinematic inversion. We found that rupture propagation was extremely sensitive to small changes in the distribution of prestress and that a delicate balance with energy release rate controls the average rupture speed. For the inversion we generated synthetic 0.5 Hz ground displacements using an efficient Green's function propagator method (AXITRA). This method enables us to propagate the radiation generated by the dynamic rupture to distances greater than those feasible using the finite difference method. The dynamic model built by trial-and-error inversion provides a very satisfactory fit between synthetics and strong motion data. We validated this model using records from stations used in the slip inversion as well as some which were not included. We also inverted for a complementary model that fits the data just as well but in which the initial stress was perfectly uniform while rupture resistance was heterogeneous. This demonstrates that inversion of ground motion is nonunique.

Peyrat, S., Olsen, K. B., & Madariaga, R. (2001). Dynamic modeling of the 1992 Landers earthquake. Journal of Geophysical Research, 106(B11), 26467-26482.