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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 8, 2024
  2. ABSTRACT Frictional heating during earthquake rupture raises the fault-zone fluid pressure, which affects dynamic rupture and seismic radiation. Here, we investigate two key parameters governing thermal pressurization of pore fluids – hydraulic diffusivity and shear-zone half-width – and their effects on earthquake rupture dynamics, kinematic source properties, and ground motions. We conduct 3D strike-slip dynamic rupture simulations assuming a rate-and-state dependent friction law with strong velocity weakening coupled to thermal-pressurization of pore fluids. Dynamic rupture evolution and ground shaking are densely evaluated across the fault and Earth’s surface to analyze the variations of rupture parameters (slip, peak slip rate, rupture speed, and rise time), correlations among rupture parameters, and variability of peak ground velocity. Our simulations reveal how variations in thermal-pressurization affect earthquake rupture properties. We find that the mean slip and rise time decrease with increasing hydraulic diffusivity, whereas mean rupture speed and peak slip-rate remain almost constant. Mean slip, peak slip-rate, and rupture speed decrease with increasing shear-zone half-width, whereas mean rise time increases. Shear-zone half-width distinctly affects the correlation between rupture parameters, especially for parameter pairs (slip, rupture speed), (peak slip-rate, rupture speed), and (rupture speed, rise time). Hydraulic diffusivity has negligible effects on these correlations. Variations in shear-zone half-width primarily impact rupture speed, which then may affect other rupture parameters. We find a negative correlation between slip and peak slip-rate, unlike simpler dynamic rupture models. Mean peak ground velocities decrease faster with increasing shear-zone half-width than with increasing hydraulic diffusivity, whereas ground-motion variability is similarly affected by both the parameters. Our results show that shear-zone half-width affects rupture dynamics, kinematic rupture properties, and ground shaking more strongly than hydraulic diffusivity. We interpret the importance of shear-zone half-width based on the characteristic time of diffusion. Our findings may inform pseudodynamic rupture generators and guide future studies on how to account for thermal-pressurization effects. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 10, 2024
  3. The destructive 2023 moment magnitude ( M w ) 7.8-7.7 earthquake doublet ruptured multiple segments of the East Anatolian Fault system in Turkey. We integrate multi-scale seismic and space-geodetic observations with multi-fault kinematic inversions and dynamic rupture modeling to unravel the events’ complex rupture history and stress-mediated fault interactions. Our analysis reveals three sub-shear slip episodes during the initial M w 7.8 earthquake with delayed rupture initiation to the southwest. The M w 7.7 event occurred 9 hours later with larger slip and supershear rupture on its western branch. Mechanically consistent dynamic models accounting for fault interactions can explain the unexpected rupture paths, and require a heterogeneous background stress. Our results highlight the importance of combining near- and far-field observations with data-driven and physics-based models for seismic hazard assessment. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  4. Abstract

    Fault‐damage zones comprise multiscale fracture networks that may slip dynamically and interact with the main fault during earthquake rupture. Using 3D dynamic rupture simulations and scale‐dependent fracture energy, we examine dynamic interactions of more than 800 intersecting multiscale fractures surrounding a listric fault, emulating a major listric fault and its damage zone. We investigate 10 distinct orientations of maximum horizontal stress, probing the conditions necessary for sustained slip within the fracture network or activating the main fault. Additionally, we assess the feasibility of nucleating dynamic rupture earthquake cascades from a distant fracture and investigate the sensitivity of fracture network cascading rupture to the effective normal stress level. We model either pure cascades or main fault rupture with limited off‐fault slip. We find that cascading ruptures within the fracture network are dynamically feasible under certain conditions, including: (a) the fracture energy scales with fracture and fault size, (b) favorable relative pre‐stress of fractures within the ambient stress field, and (c) close proximity of fractures. We find that cascading rupture within the fracture network discourages rupture on the main fault. Our simulations suggest that fractures with favorable relative pre‐stress, embedded within a fault damage zone, may lead to cascading earthquake rupture that shadows main fault slip. We find that such off‐fault events may reach moment magnitudes up toMw ≈ 5.5, comparable to magnitudes that can be otherwise hosted by the main fault. Our findings offer insights into physical processes governing cascading earthquake dynamic rupture within multiscale fracture networks.

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  5. Abstract

    The Húsavík‐Flatey Fault Zone (HFFZ) is the largest strike‐slip fault in Iceland and poses a high seismic risk to coastal communities. To investigate physics‐based constraints on earthquake hazards, we construct three fault system models of varying geometric complexity and model 79 3‐D multi‐fault dynamic rupture scenarios in the HFFZ. By assuming a simple regional prestress and varying hypocenter locations, we analyze the rupture dynamics, fault interactions, and the associated ground motions up to 2.5 Hz. All models account for regional seismotectonics, topo‐bathymetry, 3‐D subsurface velocity, viscoelastic attenuation, and off‐fault plasticity, and we explore the effect of fault roughness. The rupture scenarios obey earthquake scaling relations and predict magnitudes comparable to those of historical events. We show how fault system geometry and segmentation, hypocenter location, and prestress can affect the potential for rupture cascading, leading to varying slip distributions across different portions of the fault system. Our earthquake scenarios yield spatially heterogeneous near‐field ground motions modulated by geometric complexities, topography, and rupture directivity, particularly in the near‐field. The average ground motion attenuation characteristics of dynamic rupture scenarios of comparable magnitudes and mean stress drop are independent of variations in source complexity, magnitude‐consistent and in good agreement with the latest regional empirical ground motion models. However, physics‐based ground motion variability changes considerably with fault‐distance and increases for unilateral compared to bilateral ruptures. Systematic variations in physics‐based near‐fault ground motions provide important insights into the mechanics and potential earthquake hazard of large strike‐slip fault systems, such as the HFFZ.

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  6. Abstract

    We study the effects of pore fluid pressure (Pf) on the pre‐earthquake, near‐fault stress state, and 3‐D earthquake rupture dynamics through six scenarios utilizing a structural model based on the 2004Mw9.1 Sumatra‐Andaman earthquake. As pre‐earthquakePfmagnitude increases, effective normal stress and fault shear strength decrease. As a result, magnitude, slip, peak slip rate, stress drop, and rupture velocity of the scenario earthquakes decrease. Comparison of results with observations of the 2004 earthquake support that pre‐earthquakePfaverages near 97% of lithostatic pressure, leading to pre‐earthquake average shear and effective normal tractions of 4–5 and 22 MPa. The megathrust in these scenarios is weak, in terms of low mean shear traction at static failure and low dynamic friction coefficient during rupture. Apparent co‐seismic principal stress rotations and absolute post‐seismic stresses in these scenarios are consistent with the variety of observed aftershock focal mechanisms. In all scenarios, the mean apparent stress rotations are larger above than below the megathrust. Scenarios with largerPfmagnitudes exhibit lower mean apparent principal stress rotations. We further evaluate pre‐earthquakePfdepth distribution. IfPffollows a sublithostatic gradient, pre‐earthquake effective normal stress increases with depth. IfPffollows the lithostatic gradient exactly, then this normal stress is constant, shifting peak slip and peak slip rate updip. This renders constraints on near‐trench strength and constitutive behavior crucial for mitigating hazard. These scenarios provide opportunity for future calibration with site‐specific measurements to constrain dynamically plausible megathrust strength andPfgradients.

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  7. Abstract

    From California to British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest coast bears an omnipresent earthquake and tsunami hazard from the Cascadia subduction zone. Multiple lines of evidence suggests that magnitude eight and greater megathrust earthquakes have occurred ‐ the most recent being 321 years ago (i.e., 1700 A.D.). Outstanding questions for the next great megathrust event include where it will initiate, what conditions are favorable for rupture to span the convergent margin, and how much slip may be expected. We develop the first 3‐D fully dynamic rupture simulations for the Cascadia subduction zone that are driven by fault stress, strength and friction to address these questions. The initial dynamic stress drop distribution in our simulations is constrained by geodetic coupling models, with segment locations taken from geologic analyses. We document the sensitivity of nucleation location and stress drop to the final seismic moment and coseismic subsidence amplitudes. We find that the final earthquake size strongly depends on the amount of slip deficit in the central Cascadia region, which is inferred to be creeping interseismically, for a given initiation location in southern or northern Cascadia. Several simulations are also presented here that can closely approximate recorded coastal subsidence from the 1700 A.D. event without invoking localized high‐stress asperities along the down‐dip locked region of the megathrust. These results can be used to inform earthquake and tsunami hazards for not only Cascadia, but other subduction zones that have limited seismic observations but a wealth of geodetic inference.

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