Abstract

Inverting geophysical data has provided fundamental information about the behavior of earthquake rupture. However, inferring kinematic source model parameters for finite‐fault ruptures is an intrinsically underdetermined problem (the problem of nonuniqueness), because we are restricted to finite noisy observations. Although many studies use least‐squares techniques to make the finite‐fault problem tractable, these methods generally lack the ability to apply non‐Gaussian error analysis and the imposition of nonlinear constraints. However, the Bayesian approach can be employed to find a Gaussian or non‐Gaussian distribution of all probable model parameters, while utilizing nonlinear constraints. We present case studies to quantify the resolving power and associated uncertainties using only teleseismic body waves in a Bayesian framework to infer the slip history for a synthetic case and two earthquakes: the 2011 Mw 7.1 Van, east Turkey, earthquake and the 2010 Mw 7.2 El Mayor–Cucapah, Baja California, earthquake. In implementing the Bayesian method, we further present two distinct solutions to investigate the uncertainties by performing the inversion with and without velocity structure perturbations. We find that the posterior ensemble becomes broader when including velocity structure variability and introduces a spatial smearing of slip. Using the Bayesian framework solely on teleseismic body waves, we find rake is poorly constrained by the observations and rise time is poorly resolved when slip amplitude is low.

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