Abstract

We used a combination of 3D finite‐difference simulations (<1  Hz) and 1D stochastic synthetics (>1  Hz) to generate broadband (0–10 Hz) synthetic seismograms for numerous Mw 9 earthquake rupture scenarios on the Cascadia megathrust. Slip consists of multiple high‐stress‐drop subevents (Mw 8) with short rise times on the deeper portions of the fault, superimposed on a background slip distribution with longer rise times. We identify key rupture parameters that control the intensity of ground shaking and resulting seismic hazard; these include the hypocenter location, the down‐dip limit of slip, the average rupture velocity, and the character (i.e., location, magnitude, and stress drop) of subevents. Extending the down‐dip limit of rupture to the top of the nonvolcanic tremor zone results in localized regions with a factor of 5–10 increase in spectral acceleration (SA) for periods <5  s, compared to a rupture that is completely offshore. This is primarily due to the closer proximity of high‐stress‐drop subevents to inland locations when the rupture is allowed to extend deeper. Similarly, we find that the hypocenter location can result in a variation in the intensity of ground motions of a factor of >10, due to the effects of rupture directivity (i.e., SA at periods >1  s). We also observe a coupling between rupture directivity and basin amplification. The intensity of ground motions is also strongly affected by the magnitude, stress drop, and location of high‐stress‐drop subevents, which are poorly constrained. Overall, our results quantify the effect of kinematic rupture parameters on ground motions for an Mw 9 earthquake in Cascadia and emphasize the need for further constraints on these parameters to improve seismic hazard estimates in the Pacific Northwest.

You do not currently have access to this article.