Abstract

Geologic observations indicate that faults are fractally rough surfaces, with deviations from planarity at all length scales. Fault roughness introduces complexity in the rupture process and resulting ground motion. We present a 2D kinematic rupture generator that emulates the strong dependence of earthquake source parameters on local fault geometry observed in dynamic models of ruptures on nonplanar faults. This pseudodynamic model is based on a statistical analysis of ensembles of 2D plane strain rupture simulations on fractally rough faults with rate‐weakening friction and off‐fault viscoplasticity. We observe strong anticorrelation of roughness‐induced fluctuations in final slip, rupture velocity, and peak slip velocity with the local fault slope for right‐lateral strike‐slip ruptures. Spatial variability in these source parameters excites high‐frequency seismic waves that are consistent with observed strong‐motion records. Although accurate modeling of this high‐frequency motion is critical to seismic‐hazard analysis, dynamic rupture simulations are currently too computationally inefficient to be of practical use in such applications. We find that the seismic waves excited by the pseudodynamic model have similar intensity and spectral content to the corresponding dynamic model. Although the method has been developed in 2D, we envision that a similar approach could be taken for the 3D problem, provided that computational resources are available to generate an ensemble set of 3D dynamic rupture simulations. The resulting methodology is expected to find future application in efficient earthquake simulations that accurately quantify high‐frequency ground motion.

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