Near-Source Shaking and Dynamic Rupture in Plastic Media

Alice-Agnes Gabriel, Jean-Paul Ampuero, Luis A. Dalguer, & Paul M. Mai

Published December 2012, SCEC Contribution #1789

Recent well recorded earthquakes show a high degree of complexity at the source level that severely affects the resulting ground motion in near and far-field seismic data. In our study, we focus on investigating source-dominated near-field ground motion features from numerical dynamic rupture simulations in an elasto-visco-plastic bulk. Our aim is to contribute to a more direct connection from theoretical and computational results to field and seismological observations. Previous work showed that a diversity of rupture styles emerges from simulations on faults governed by velocity-and-state-dependent friction with rapid velocity-weakening at high slip rate. For instance, growing pulses lead to re-activation of slip due to gradual stress build-up near the hypocenter, as inferred in some source studies of the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake. Moreover, off-fault energy dissipation implied physical limits on extreme ground motion by limiting peak slip rate and rupture velocity. We investigate characteristic features in near-field strong ground motion generated by dynamic in-plane rupture simulations. We present effects of plasticity on source process signatures, off-fault damage patterns and ground shaking. Independent of rupture style, asymmetric damage patterns across the fault are produced that contribute to the total seismic moment, and even dominantly at high angles between the fault and the maximum principal background stress. The off-fault plastic strain fields induced by transitions between rupture styles reveal characteristic signatures of the mechanical source processes during the transition. Comparing different rupture styles in elastic and elasto-visco-plastic media to identify signatures of off-fault plasticity, we find varying degrees of alteration of near-field radiation due to plastic energy dissipation. Subshear pulses suffer more peak particle velocity reduction due to plasticity than cracks. Supershear ruptures are affected even more. The occurrence of multiple rupture fronts affect seismic potency release rate, amplitude spectra, peak particle velocity distributions and near-field seismograms. Our simulations enable us to trace features of source processes in synthetic seismograms, for example exhibiting a re-activation of slip. Such physical models may provide starting points for future investigations of field properties of earthquake source mechanisms and natural fault conditions. In the long-term, our findings may be helpful for seismic hazard analysis and the improvement of seismic source models.

Gabriel, A., Ampuero, J., Dalguer, L. A., & Mai, P. M. (2012, 12). Near-Source Shaking and Dynamic Rupture in Plastic Media. Oral Presentation at AGU Fall Meeting 2012.