Using Simulated Ground Motions to Constrain Near-Source Ground Motion Prediction Equations in Areas Experiencing Induced Seismicity

Samuel A. Bydlon, & Eric M. Dunham

Submitted August 15, 2016, SCEC Contribution #7004, 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #268

Recent increases in seismic activity in historically quiescent areas such as Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas, including large, potentially induced events such as the 2011 Mw 5.6 Prague, OK, earthquake, have spurred the need for investigation into expected ground motions associated with these seismic sources. The neoteric nature of this seismicity increase corresponds to a scarcity of ground motion recordings within ~50 km of earthquakes Mw 3.0 and greater, with increasing scarcity at larger magnitudes. Gathering additional near-source ground motion data will help better constraints on regional ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) and will happen over time, but this leaves open the possibility of damaging earthquakes occurring before potential ground shaking and seismic hazard in these areas are properly understood. To aid the effort of constraining near-source GMPEs associated with induced seismicity, we integrate synthetic ground motion data from simulated earthquakes into the process. Using the dynamic rupture and seismic wave propagation code waveqlab3d, we perform verification and validation exercises intended to establish confidence in simulated ground motions for use in constraining GMPEs. We verify the accuracy of our ground motion simulator by performing the PEER/SCEC layer-over-halfspace comparison problem LOH.1 Validation exercises to ensure that we are synthesizing realistic ground motion data include comparisons to recorded ground motions for specific earthquakes in target areas of Oklahoma between Mw 3.0 and 4.0. Using a 3D velocity structure that includes a 1D structure with additional small-scale heterogeneity, the properties of which are based on well-log data from Oklahoma, we perform ground motion simulations of small (Mw 3.0 - 4.0) earthquakes using point moment tensor sources. We use the resulting synthetic ground motion data to develop GMPEs for small earthquakes in Oklahoma. Preliminary results indicate that ground motions can be amplified if the source is located in the shallow, sedimentary sequence compared to the basement. Source depth could therefore be an important variable to define explicitly in GMPEs instead of being incorporated into traditional distance metrics. Future work will include the addition of dynamic sources to develop GMPEs for large earthquakes.

Bydlon, S. A., & Dunham, E. M. (2016, 08). Using Simulated Ground Motions to Constrain Near-Source Ground Motion Prediction Equations in Areas Experiencing Induced Seismicity . Poster Presentation at 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Ground Motion Prediction (GMP)