Strong Ground Motion Prediction using Virtual Earthquakes

Marine A. Denolle, Eric M. Dunham, German A. Prieto, & Gregory C. Beroza

Published 2014, SCEC Contribution #1812

Sedimentary basins increase the damaging effects of earthquakes by trapping and amplifying seismic waves. Simulations of seismic wave propagation in sedimentary basins capture this effect; however, there exists no method to validate these results for earthquakes that have not yet occurred. We present a new approach for ground motion prediction that uses the ambient seismic field. We apply our method to a suite of magnitude 7 scenario earthquakes on the southern San Andreas fault and compare our ground motion predictions with simulations. Both methods find strong amplification and coupling of source and structure effects, but they predict substantially different shaking patterns across the Los Angeles Basin. The virtual earthquake approach provides a new approach for predicting long-period strong ground motion.

Denolle, M. A., Dunham, E. M., Prieto, G. A., & Beroza, G. C. (2014). Strong Ground Motion Prediction using Virtual Earthquakes. Science, 343(6169), 399-403. doi: 10.1126/science.1245678.