Abstract

Using a suite of five hypothetical finite-fault rupture models, we test the ability of long-period (T>2.0 s) ground-motion simulations of scenario earthquakes to produce waveforms throughout southern California consistent with those recorded during the 4 April 2010 Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake. The hypothetical ruptures are generated using the methodology proposed by Graves and Pitarka (2010) and require, as inputs, only a general description of the fault location and geometry, event magnitude, and hypocenter, as would be done for a scenario event. For each rupture model, two Southern California Earthquake Center three-dimensional community seismic velocity models (CVM-4m and CVM-H62) are used, resulting in a total of 10 ground-motion simulations, which we compare with recorded ground motions. While the details of the motions vary across the simulations, the median levels match the observed peak ground velocities reasonably well, with the standard deviation of the residuals generally within 50% of the median. Simulations with the CVM-4m model yield somewhat lower variance than those with the CVM-H62 model. Both models tend to overpredict motions in the San Diego region and underpredict motions in the Mojave desert. Within the greater Los Angeles basin, the CVM-4m model generally matches the level of observed motions, whereas the CVM-H62 model tends to overpredict the motions, particularly in the southern portion of the basin. The variance in the peak velocity residuals is lowest for a rupture that has significant shallow slip (<5 km depth), whereas the variance in the residuals is greatest for ruptures with large asperities below 10 km depth. Overall, these results are encouraging and provide confidence in the predictive capabilities of the simulation methodology, while also suggesting some regions in which the seismic velocity models may need improvement.

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