skip to main content

Title: Seismic Imaging of the Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest Earthquake Rupture Zone From Data Recorded by Dense Linear Arrays

We analyze seismograms recorded by four arrays (B1–B4) with 100 m station spacing and apertures of 4–8 km that cross the surface rupture of the 2019 Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake. The arrays extend from B1 in the northwest to B4 in the southeast of the surface rupture. Delay times betweenPwave arrivals associated with ∼1,200 local earthquakes and four teleseismic events are used to estimate local velocity variations beneath the arrays. Both teleseismic and localPwaves travel faster on the northeast than the southwest side of the fault beneath arrays B1 and B4, but the velocity contrast is less reliably resolved at arrays B2 and B3. We identify several 1–2 km wide low‐velocity zones with much slower inner cores that amplifySwaveforms, inferred as damage zones, beneath each array. The damage zones at arrays B2 and B4 also generate fault‐zone head and trapped waves. An automated detector, based on peak ground velocities and durations of high‐amplitude waves, identifies candidate fault‐zone trapped waves (FZTWs) in a localized zone for ∼600 earthquakes at array B4. Synthetic waveform modeling of averaged FZTWs, generated by ∼30 events with high‐quality signals, indicates that the trapping structure at array B4 has a width of ∼300 m, depth of 3–5 km,Swave velocity reduction of ∼20% with respect to the surrounding rock,Q‐value of ∼30, andSwave velocity contrast of ∼4% across the fault (faster on the northeast side). The results show complex fault‐zone internal structures (velocity contrasts and low‐velocity zones) that vary along fault strike.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    We provide high‐resolution seismic imaging of the central Garlock fault using data recorded by two dense seismic arrays that cross the Ridgecrest rupture zone (B4) and the Garlock fault (A5). Analyses of fault zone head waves andP‐wave delay times at array A5 show that the Garlock fault is a sharp bimaterial interface withPwaves traveling ∼5% faster in the northern crustal block. The across‐fault velocity contrast agrees with regional tomography models and generates clearP‐wave reflections in waveforms recorded by array B4. Kirchhoff migration of the reflected waves indicates a near‐vertical fault between 2 and 6 km depth. TheP‐wave delay times imply a ∼300‐m‐wide transition zone near the Garlock fault surface trace beneath array A5, offset to the side with faster velocities. The results provide important constraints for derivations of earthquake properties, simulations of ruptures and ground motion, and future imaging studies associated with the Garlock fault.

    more » « less
  2. Fault damage zones can influence various aspects of the earthquake cycle, such as the recurrence intervals and magnitudes of large earthquakes. The properties and structure of fault damage zones are often characterized using dense arrays of seismic stations located directly above the faults. However, such arrays may not always be available. Hence, our research aims to develop a novel method to image fault damage zones using broadband stations at relatively larger distances. Previous kinematic simulations and a case study of the 2003 Big Bear earthquake sequence demonstrated that fault damage zones can act as effective waveguides, amplifying high-frequency waves along directions close to fault strike via multiple reflections within the fault damage zone. The amplified high-frequency energy can be observed by stacking P-wave spectra of earthquake clusters with highly-similar waveforms (Huang et al., 2016), and the frequency band which is amplified may be used to estimate the width and velocity contrast of the fault damage zone. We attempt to identify the high-frequency peak associated with fault zone waves in stacked spectra by conducting a large-scale study of small earthquakes (M1.5–3). We use high quality broadband data from seismic stations at hypocentral distances of 20-80 km in the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake regions. First, we group the Ridgecrest earthquakes in clusters by their locations and their waveform similarity, and then stack their velocity spectra to average the source effects of individual earthquakes. Our results show that the stations close to the fault strike record more high-frequency energies around the characteristic frequency of fault zone reflections. We find that the increase in the amount of high-frequencies is consistent across clusters with average magnitudes ranging from 1.6-2.4, which suggests that the azimuthal variation in spectra is caused by fault zone amplification rather than rupture directivity. We will apply our method to other fault zones in California, in order to search for fault damage zone structures and estimate their material properties. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    A great earthquake struck the Semidi segment of the plate boundary along the Alaska Peninsula on 29 July 2021, re‐rupturing part of the 1938 rupture zone. The 2021MW8.2 Chignik earthquake occurred just northeast of the 22 July 2020MW7.8 Simeonof earthquake, with little slip overlap. Analysis of teleseismicPandSHwaves, regional Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) displacements, and near‐field and far‐field tsunami observations provides a good resolution of the 2021 rupture process. During ∼60‐s long faulting, the slip was nonuniformly distributed along the megathrust over depths from 32 to 40 km, with up to ∼12.9‐m slip in an ∼170‐km‐long patch. The 40–45 km down‐dip limit of slip is well constrained by GNSS observations along the Alaska Peninsula. Tsunami observations preclude significant slip from extending to depths <25 km, confining all coseismic slip to beneath the shallow continental shelf. Most aftershocks locate seaward of the large‐slip zones, with a concentration of activity up‐dip of the deeper southwestern slip zone. Some localized aftershock patches locate beneath the continental slope. The surface‐wave magnitudeMSof 8.1 for the 2021 earthquake is smaller thanMS = 8.3–8.4 for the 1938 event. Seismic and tsunami data indicate that slip in 1938 was concentrated in the eastern region of its aftershock zone, extending beyond the Semidi Islands, where the 2021 event did not rupture.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    We present observations and modeling of spatial eigen‐functions of resonating waves within fault zone waveguide, using data recorded on a dense seismic array across the San Jacinto Fault Zone (SJFZ) in southern California. The array consists of 5‐Hz geophones that cross the SJFZ with ~10–30 m spacing at the Blackburn Saddle near the Hemet Stepover. Wavefield snapshots after theSwave arrival are consistent for more than 50 near‐fault events, suggesting that this pattern is controlled by the fault zone structure rather than source properties. Data from example event with high signal to noise ratio show three main frequency peaks at ~1.3, ~2.0, and ~2.8 Hz in the amplitude spectra of resonance waves averaged over stations near the fault. The data are modeled with analytical expressions for eigen‐functions of resonance waves in a low‐velocity layer (fault zone) between two quarter‐spaces. Using a grid search‐based method, we investigate the possible width of the waveguide, location within the array, and shear wave velocities of the media that fit well the resonance signal at ~1.3 Hz. The results indicate a ~300 m wide damaged fault zone layer with ~65%Swave velocity reduction compared to the host rock. The SW edge of the low‐velocity zone is near the mapped fault surface trace, indicating that the damage zone is asymmetrically located at the regionally faster NE crustal block. The imaging resolution of the fault zone structure can be improved by modeling fault zone resonance modes and trapped waves together.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    An oceanic plateau, the Yakutat terrane, has entered the subduction system across southcentral Alaska. Its down‐dip fate and relationship to overlying volcanism is still debated. Broadband seismometers from the Wrangell Volcanism and Lithospheric Fate (WVLF) temporary experiment were deployed with <20 km spacing across southcentral Alaska to study this region. An array‐based deconvolution procedure is used to isolate the scatteredPandScoda of teleseismicPwaves for imaging discontinuity structure. This procedure is applied to WVLF and other dense seismic arrays across southcentral Alaska in a manner that accounts for near‐surface wavespeed variations. Two imaging techniques are employed: two‐dimensional migration and three‐dimensional common‐conversion‐point (CCP) stacking. Migrating the scattered phases along WVLF stations shows the ∼18 ± 4 km thick Yakutat crust subducting beneath the Wrangell Volcanic field to the NNE. It is offset from the Alaska‐Aleutian seismic zone laterally by 250 km to the southeast at 100 km depth, and dips more steeply (45°). At depths <45 km, CCP stacking reveals that the Yakutat crust is continuous for over 450 km along strike. This shallow continuity and deeper offset suggest a tear in the subducting Yakutat slab at depths >45 km, around 146°W. CCP stacking also reveals a continuous thin low‐velocity layer atop the underthrust Yakutat crust for >450 km along strike, at all depths <35 km. The uniform low‐velocity thrust zone indicates consistent properties through multiple rupture‐zone segments, showing that low‐velocity channels generally correspond with subduction megathrusts.

    more » « less