ABSTRACT

Shaking from the 6 July 2019 Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest, California, mainshock was strongly felt through southern California, but generated relatively minimal structural damage in Ridgecrest. We consider the extent to which a damage proxy map (DPM) generated from satellite‐based Synthetic Aperture Radar images can detect minor damage throughout the town of Ridgecrest. The DPM does not, as expected, detect all minor structural damage to individual structures, nor can it distinguish between structural damage and earthquake‐related movement that is not consequential. However, the DPM does confirm many instances of minor structural damage to larger structures and groups of smaller structures and in some instances suggests minor structural damage that is not apparent upon visual inspection. Although ambiguous identification of minor damage may not be useful to guide earthquake response, the identification of minor, possibly hidden damage is potentially useful for other purposes. Overall, the DPM confirms that structural damage was commensurate with modified Mercalli intensity no higher than 7 throughout Ridgecrest. We consider both instrumental and intensity data to explore further the distribution of near‐field ground motions over the frequency range of engineering concern. Peak ground accelerations and peak ground velocities estimated from “Did You Feel It?” intensity data using the Worden et al. (2012) ground‐motion intensity conversion equation (GMICE) are consistent with recorded instrumental data. Both instrumental and estimated mainshock peak accelerations are further consistent with predictions from both the Boore et al. (2014) ground‐motion prediction equation (GMPE), but lower than predicted by the Atkinson and Wald (2007) and Atkinson et al. (2014) intensity prediction equations (IPEs). A GMPE such as Boore et al. (2014), which is constrained by a large global dataset, together with a well‐constrained GMICE, may thus characterize expected shaking intensities for large earthquakes better than an IPE based on more limited intensity data.

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