Constraining families of dynamic models using geological, geodetic and strong ground motion data: the Mw 6.5, October 30th, 2016, Norcia earthquake, Italy

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Elisa Tinti, Emanuele Casarotti , Thomas Ulrich, Duo Li, Taufiqurrahman Taufiqurrahman , Alice-Agnes Gabriel 


The 2016 Central Italy earthquake sequence is characterized by remarkable rupture complexity, including highly heterogeneous slip across multiple faults in an extensional tectonic regime. The dense coverage and high quality of geodetic and seismic data allow to image intriguing details of the rupture kinematics of the largest earthquake of the sequence, the Mw 6.5 October 30th, 2016 Norcia earthquake, such as an energetically weak nucleation phase. Several kinematic models suggest multiple fault planes rupturing simultaneously, however, the mechanical viability of such models is not guaranteed.

Using 3D dynamic rupture and seismic wave propagation simulations accounting for two fault planes, we constrain 'families' of spontaneous dynamic models informed by a high-resolution kinematic rupture model of the earthquake.
These families differ in their parameterization of initial heterogeneous shear stress and strength in the framework of linear slip weakening friction.

First, we dynamically validate the kinematically inferred two-fault geometry and rake inferences with models based on only depth-dependent stress and constant friction coefficients. Then, more complex models with spatially heterogeneous dynamic parameters allow us to retrieve slip distributions similar to the target kinematic model and yield good agreement with seismic and geodetic observations.
We discuss the consistency of the assumed constant or heterogeneous static and dynamic friction coefficients with mechanical properties of rocks at 3-10 km depth characterizing the Italian Central Apennines and their local geological and lithological implications. We suggest that suites of well-fitting dynamic rupture models belonging to the same family generally exist and can be derived by exploiting the trade-offs between dynamic parameters.
Our approach will be applicable to validate the viability of kinematic models and classify spontaneous dynamic rupture scenarios that match seismic and geodetic observations at the same time as geological constraints.



Geophysics and Seismology


normal faulting, data-integrated dynamic modeling, frictional heterogeneity, dynamicrupture, high-performance computing, Norcia earthquake, frictional heterogeneity


Published: 2021-06-10 22:08

Last Updated: 2021-06-11 05:08


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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