ABSTRACT

We model the kinematic rupture process of the 2019 Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest, California, earthquake using numerical simulations to reproduce the elastodynamic wave field observed by inertial seismometers, high‐rate Global Navigation Satellite System stations, and borehole strainmeters. This was the largest earthquake in Southern California in 20 yr and was widely felt throughout the region. The Mw 7.1 mainshock was part of a large sequence of 30,000 aftershocks and was notably preceded by an Mw 6.4 foreshock by 34 hr on fault structures that were once poorly understood. A large number of seismic and geodetic instruments measured the rupture process for both events, with many stations located in the near field. Hence, this is a rare opportunity to better understand complex earthquake processes that arise in an immature fault zone using advanced computing. Of the kinematic rupture models that we tested, our preferred is the simplest one that reproduces signals recorded by the three different geophysical datasets; it is composed of four distinct ruptures that progressively migrate to the southeast with delayed initiation times, and typical rupture speeds. This type of model does a better job at matching the recorded ground motions and deformations than does one composed of a continuous rupture with very low‐rupture velocity, as proposed in other studies of this earthquake.

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