Abstract

We estimate the ground motions produced by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake making use of the recently developed Song et al. (2008) source model that combines the available geodetic and seismic observations and recently constructed 3D geologic and seismic velocity models. Our estimates of the ground motions for the 1906 earthquake are consistent across five ground-motion modeling groups employing different wave propagation codes and simulation domains. The simulations successfully reproduce the main features of the Boatwright and Bundock (2005) ShakeMap, but tend to over predict the intensity of shaking by 0.1–0.5 modified Mercalli intensity (MMI) units. Velocity waveforms at sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area exhibit characteristics consistent with rupture directivity, local geologic conditions (e.g., sedimentary basins), and the large size of the event (e.g., durations of strong shaking lasting tens of seconds). We also compute ground motions for seven hypothetical scenarios rupturing the same extent of the northern San Andreas fault, considering three additional hypocenters and an additional, random distribution of slip. Rupture directivity exerts the strongest influence on the variations in shaking, although sedimentary basins do consistently contribute to the response in some locations, such as Santa Rosa, Livermore, and San Jose. These scenarios suggest that future large earthquakes on the northern San Andreas fault may subject the current San Francisco Bay urban area to stronger shaking than a repeat of the 1906 earthquake. Ruptures propagating southward towards San Francisco appear to expose more of the urban area to a given intensity level than do ruptures propagating northward.

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