Precisely constraining the source parameters of large earthquakes is one of the primary objectives of seismology. However, the quality of the results relies on the quality of synthetic earth response. Although earth structure is laterally heterogeneous, particularly at shallow depth, most earthquake source studies at the global scale rely on the Green's functions calculated with radially symmetric (1-D) earth structure. To avoid the impact of inaccurate Green's functions, these conventional source studies use a limited set of seismic phases, such as long-period seismic waves, broad-band P and S waves in teleseismic distances (30° < ∆ < 90°), and strong ground motion records at close-fault stations. The enriched information embedded in the broad-band seismograms recorded by global and regional networks is largely ignored, limiting the spatiotemporal resolution. Here we calculate 3-D strain Green's functions at 30 GSN stations for source regions of 9 selected global earthquakes and one earthquake-prone area (California), with frequency up to 67 mHz (15 s), using SPECFEM3D_GLOBE and the reciprocity theorem. The 3-D SEM mesh model is composed of mantle model S40RTS, crustal model CRUST2.0 and surface topography ETOPO2. We surround each target event with grids in horizontal spacing of 5 km and vertical spacing of 2.0–3.0 km, allowing us to investigate not only the main shock but also the background seismicity. In total, the response at over 210 000 source points is calculated in simulation. The number of earthquakes, including different focal mechanisms, centroid depth range and tectonic background, could further increase without additional computational cost if they were properly selected to avoid overloading individual CPUs. The storage requirement can be reduced by two orders of magnitude if the output strain Green's functions are stored for periods over 15 s. We quantitatively evaluate the quality of these 3-D synthetic seismograms, which are frequency and phase dependent, for each source region using nearby aftershocks, before using them to constrain the focal mechanisms and slip distribution. Case studies show that using a 3-D earth model significantly improves the waveform similarity, agreement in amplitude and arrival time of seismic phases with the observations. The limitations of current 3-D models are still notable, dependent on seismic phases and frequency range. The 3-D synthetic seismograms cannot well match the high frequency (>40 mHz) S wave and (>20 mHz) Rayleigh wave yet. Though the mean time-shifts are close to zero, the standard deviations are notable. Careful calibration using the records of nearby better located earthquakes is still recommended to take full advantage of better waveform similarity due to the use of 3-D models. Our results indicate that it is now feasible to systematically study global large earthquakes using full 3-D earth response in a global scale.
For over 40 yr, the global centroid-moment tensor (GCMT) project has determined location and source parameters for globally recorded earthquakes larger than magnitude 5.0. The GCMT database remains a trusted staple for the geophysical community. Its point-source moment-tensor solutions are the result of inversions that model long-period observed seismic waveforms via normal-mode summation for a 1-D reference earth model, augmented by path corrections to capture 3-D variations in surface wave phase speeds, and to account for crustal structure. While this methodology remains essentially unchanged for the ongoing GCMT catalogue, source inversions based on waveform modelling in low-resolution 3-D earth models have revealed small but persistent biases in the standard modelling approach. Keeping pace with the increased capacity and demands of global tomography requires a revised catalogue of centroid-moment tensors (CMT), automatically and reproducibly computed using Green's functions from a state-of-the-art 3-D earth model. In this paper, we modify the current procedure for the full-waveform inversion of seismic traces for the six moment-tensor parameters, centroid latitude, longitude, depth and centroid time of global earthquakes. We take the GCMT solutions as a point of departure but update them to account for the effects of a heterogeneous earth, using the global 3-D wave speed model GLAD-M25. We generate synthetic seismograms from Green's functions computed by the spectral-element method in the 3-D model, select observed seismic data and remove their instrument response, process synthetic and observed data, select segments of observed and synthetic data based on similarity, and invert for new model parameters of the earthquake’s centroid location, time and moment tensor. The events in our new, preliminary database containing 9382 global event solutions, called CMT3D for ‘3-D centroid-moment tensors’, are on average 4 km shallower, about 1 s earlier, about 5 per cent larger in scalar moment, and more double-couple in nature than in the GCMT catalogue. We discuss in detail the geographical and statistical distributions of the updated solutions, and place them in the context of earlier work. We plan to disseminate our CMT3D solutions via the online ShakeMovie platform.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Oxford University Press
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Geophysical Journal International
- Medium: X Size: p. 1727-1738
- ["p. 1727-1738"]
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Tsunami generation by offshore earthquakes is a problem of scientific interest and practical relevance, and one that requires numerical modelling for data interpretation and hazard assessment. Most numerical models utilize two-step methods with one-way coupling between separate earthquake and tsunami models, based on approximations that might limit the applicability and accuracy of the resulting solution. In particular, standard methods focus exclusively on tsunami wave modelling, neglecting larger amplitude ocean acoustic and seismic waves that are superimposed on tsunami waves in the source region. In this study, we compare four earthquake-tsunami modelling methods. We identify dimensionless parameters to quantitatively approximate dominant wave modes in the earthquake-tsunami source region, highlighting how the method assumptions affect the results and discuss which methods are appropriate for various applications such as interpretation of data from offshore instruments in the source region. Most methods couple a 3-D solid earth model, which provides the seismic wavefield or at least the static elastic displacements, with a 2-D depth-averaged shallow water tsunami model. Assuming the ocean is incompressible and tsunami propagation is negligible over the earthquake duration leads to the instantaneous source method, which equates the static earthquake seafloor uplift with the initial tsunami sea surface height. For longer duration earthquakes, it is appropriate to follow the time-dependent source method, which uses time-dependent earthquake seafloor velocity as a forcing term in the tsunami mass balance. Neither method captures ocean acoustic or seismic waves, motivating more advanced methods that capture the full wavefield. The superposition method of Saito et al. solves the 3-D elastic and acoustic equations to model the seismic wavefield and response of a compressible ocean without gravity. Then, changes in sea surface height from the zero-gravity solution are used as a forcing term in a separate tsunami simulation, typically run with a shallow water solver. A superposition of the earthquake and tsunami solutions provides an approximation to the complete wavefield. This method is algorithmically a two-step method. The complete wavefield is captured in the fully coupled method, which utilizes a coupled solid Earth and compressible ocean model with gravity. The fully coupled method, recently incorporated into the 3-D open-source code SeisSol, simultaneously solves earthquake rupture, seismic waves and ocean response (including gravity). We show that the superposition method emerges as an approximation to the fully coupled method subject to often well-justified assumptions. Furthermore, using the fully coupled method, we examine how the source spectrum and ocean depth influence the expression of oceanic Rayleigh waves. Understanding the range of validity of each method, as well as its computational expense, facilitates the selection of modelling methods for the accurate assessment of earthquake and tsunami hazards and the interpretation of data from offshore instruments.