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Title: 0–5 Hz deterministic 3-D ground motion simulations for the 2014 La Habra, California, Earthquake

We have simulated 0–5 Hz deterministic wave propagation for a suite of 17 models of the 2014 Mw 5.1 La Habra, CA, earthquake with the Southern California Earthquake Center Community Velocity Model Version S4.26-M01 using a finite-fault source. Strong motion data at 259 sites within a 148 km × 140 km area are used to validate our simulations. Our simulations quantify the effects of statistical distributions of small-scale crustal heterogeneities (SSHs), frequency-dependent attenuation Q(f), surface topography and near-surface low-velocity material (via a 1-D approximation) on the resulting ground motion synthetics. The shear wave quality factor QS(f) is parametrized as QS, 0 and QS, 0fγ for frequencies less than and higher than 1 Hz, respectively. We find the most favourable fit to data for models using ratios of QS, 0 to shear wave velocity VS of 0.075–1.0 and γ values less than 0.6, with the best-fitting amplitude drop-off for the higher frequencies obtained for γ values of 0.2–0.4. Models including topography and a realistic near-surface weathering layer tend to increase peak velocities at mountain peaks and ridges, with a corresponding decrease behind the peaks and ridges in the direction of wave propagation. We find a clear negative correlation between the effects on peak ground more » velocity amplification and duration lengthening, suggesting that topography redistributes seismic energy from the large-amplitude first arrivals to the adjacent coda waves. A weathering layer with realistic near-surface low velocities is found to enhance the amplification at mountain peaks and ridges, and may partly explain the underprediction of the effects of topography on ground motions found in models. Our models including topography tend to improve the fit to data, as compared to models with a flat free surface, while our distributions of SSHs with constraints from borehole data fail to significantly improve the fit. Accuracy of the velocity model, particularly the near-surface low velocities, as well as the source description, controls the resolution with which the anelastic attenuation can be determined. Our results demonstrate that it is feasible to use fully deterministic physics-based simulations to estimate ground motions for seismic hazard analysis up to 5 Hz. Here, the effects of, and trade-offs with, near-surface low-velocity material, topography, SSHs and Q(f) become increasingly important as frequencies increase towards 5 Hz, and should be included in the calculations. Future improvement in community velocity models, wider access to computational resources, more efficient numerical codes and guidance from this study are bound to further constrain the ground motion models, leading to more accurate seismic hazard analysis.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Journal International
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 2162-2182
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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