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Bounding the moment deficit rate on crustal faults using geodetic data: Methods

Jeremy L. Maurer, Paul Segall, & Andrew M. Bradley

Published August 19, 2017, SCEC Contribution #9966

The geodetically derived interseismic moment deficit rate (MDR) provides a first‐order constraint on earthquake potential and can play an important role in seismic hazard assessment, but quantifying uncertainty in MDR is a challenging problem that has not been fully addressed. We establish criteria for reliable MDR estimators, evaluate existing methods for determining the probability density of MDR, and propose and evaluate new methods. Geodetic measurements moderately far from the fault provide tighter constraints on MDR than those nearby. Previously used methods can fail catastrophically under predictable circumstances. The bootstrap method works well with strong data constraints on MDR, but can be strongly biased when network geometry is poor. We propose two new methods: the Constrained Optimization Bounding Estimator (COBE) assumes uniform priors on slip rate (from geologic information) and MDR, and can be shown through synthetic tests to be a useful, albeit conservative estimator; the Constrained Optimization Bounding Linear Estimator (COBLE) is the corresponding linear estimator with Gaussian priors rather than point‐wise bounds on slip rates. COBE matches COBLE with strong data constraints on MDR. We compare results from COBE and COBLE to previously published results for the interseismic MDR at Parkfield, on the San Andreas Fault, and find similar results; thus, the apparent discrepancy between MDR and the total moment release (seismic and afterslip) in the 2004 Parkfield earthquake remains.

Key Words
moment deficit, geodesy, earthquake hazard, southern California

Maurer, J. L., Segall, P., & Bradley, A. M. (2017). Bounding the moment deficit rate on crustal faults using geodetic data: Methods. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 122(8), 6811-6835. doi: 10.1002/2017JB014300. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2017JB014300