Abstract

To evaluate the spatiotemporal variations of ground motions in northern Chile, we built a high‐quality rock seismic acceleration database and an interface earthquakes catalog. Two ground‐motion prediction equation (GMPE) models for subduction zones have been tested and validated for the area. They were then used as backbone models to describe the time–space variations of earthquake frequency content (Fourier and response spectra). Consistent with previous studies of large subduction earthquakes, moderate interface earthquakes in northern Chile show an increase of the high‐frequency energy released with depth. A regional variability of earthquake frequency content is also observed, which may be related to a lateral segmentation of the mechanical properties of the subduction interface. Finally, interface earthquakes show a temporal evolution of their frequency content in the earthquake sequence associated with the 2014 Iquique Mw 8.1 megathrust earthquake. Surprisingly, the change does not occur with the mainshock but is associated with an 8 month slow slip preceding the megathrust.

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