The 2004 Parkfield, California, earthquake is used to investigate stability and uncertainty aspects of the finite-fault slip inversion problem with different a priori model assumptions. We utilize records from 54 strong ground motion stations and 13 continuous, 1-Hz sampled, geodetic instruments. Two inversion procedures are compared: a linear least-squares subfault-based methodology and a nonlinear global search algorithm. These two methods encompass a wide range of the different approaches that have been used to solve the finite-fault slip inversion problem. For the Parkfield earthquake and the inversion of velocity or displacement waveforms, near-surface related site response (top 100 m, frequencies above 1 Hz) is shown to not significantly affect the solution. Results are also insensitive to selection of slip rate functions with similar duration and to subfault size if proper stabilizing constraints are used. The linear and nonlinear formulations yield consistent results when the same limitations in model parameters are in place and the same inversion norm is used. However, the solution is sensitive to the choice of inversion norm, the bounds on model parameters, such as rake and rupture velocity, and the size of the model fault plane. The geodetic data set for Parkfield gives a slip distribution different from that of the strong-motion data, which may be due to the spatial limitation of the geodetic stations and the bandlimited nature of the strong-motion data. Cross validation and the bootstrap method are used to set limits on the upper bound for rupture velocity and to derive mean slip models and standard deviations in model parameters. This analysis shows that slip on the northwestern half of the Parkfield rupture plane from the inversion of strong-motion data is model dependent and has a greater uncertainty than slip near the hypocenter.

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