Potency density tensor inversion of complex body waveforms with time-adaptive smoothing constraint

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SHINJI YAMASHITA, Yagi Yuji, Ryo Okuwaki , Kousuke Shimizu , Ryoichiro Agata, Yukitoshi Fukahata


Large earthquakes are often accompanied by complex fault rupture, but it has been difficult to reliably estimate such a complex rupture process with conventional waveform analysis tools due to modelling errors originated from limited accuracy of the fault geometry. Recently, a potency density tensor inversion method has been developed to solve this problem; allowing any types of faulting mechanism on an assumed model plane, the method replaces the modelling error of fault orientation with that of fault location, which is much less serious in the teleseismic waveform inversion. Thus, the method has successfully unveiled earthquake source processes with geometrically complex fault rupture. However, the method imposes the same strength of smoothing constraint on all the basis slip components irrespective of possible changes of slip direction during the rupture. This leads to excessive smoothing to a slip component with large amplitude, which results in biased estimates of a rupture process. In this study, we propose a time-adaptive smoothing constraint that dynamically adjusts the smoothness intensity inversely proportional to the amplitude for each basis slip function. Through a numerical experiment assigning an input model involving a drastic change in the focal mechanism (reverse, strike-slip and normal faulting) during the rupture, we find that the time-adaptive smoothing constraint solves the problem of excessive smoothing to the dominant slip component, and the spatiotemporally non-uniform rupture episodes with different focal mechanisms are successfully reproduced. To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the time-adaptive smoothing constraint, we apply the method to the teleseismic body waves of the 2002 Denali fault and the 2008 Wenchuan earthquakes, which involve complex fault ruptures with changing focal mechanisms. We find that the developed method well captures the focal mechanism transition in space and time from reverse to strike-slip faulting during the ruptures of the 2002 Denali fault and the 2008 Wenchuan earthquakes. Even though these source models are built using only the teleseismic P waveforms with simple model fault geometry that is represented by a horizontal rectangular plane, they well explain the complex observed waveforms and agree with characteristics of source processes obtained in previous studies using seismic and geodetic data as well as field surveys. The potency density tensor inversion method with the time-adaptive smoothing constraint would be a powerful tool to analyze earthquake rupture processes with complex fault geometries involving different faulting styles.




Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Earthquake source observations, Inverse theory, Earthquake dynamics


Published: 2021-10-28 23:37

Last Updated: 2021-10-29 06:37


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:

Data Availability (Reason not available):
Waveform data was downloaded through the IRIS Wilber 3 system (https://ds.iris.edu/wilber3/find_event). Teleseismic waveforms were obtained from the following networks: Berkeley Digital Seismograph Network (BK; https://doi.org/10.7932/BDSN); the Canadian National Seismograph Network (CN; https://doi.org/10.7914/SN/CN); the Czech Regional Seismic Network (CZ; https://doi.org/10.7914/SN/CZ); the GEOSCOPE (G; https://doi.org/10.18715/GEOSCOPE.G); the GEOFON (GE; https://doi.org/10.14470/TR560404); the New China Digital Seismograph Net- work (IC; https://doi.org/10.7914/SN/IC); the IRIS/IDA Seismic Network (II; https://doi.org/10.7914/SN/II); the IRIS/USGS Global Seismograph Network (IU; https://doi.org/10.7914/SN/IU); the Mediterranean Very Broadband Seismographic Network (MN; https://doi.org/10.13127/SD/fBBBtDtd6q); the Pacific21 (PS; https://www.fdsn.org/networks/detail/PS/). The moment tensor solutions are obtained from the GCMT catalog (https://www.globalcmt.org/CMTsearch.html). The CRUST 1.0 model is available at https://igppweb.ucsd.edu/~gabi/crust1.html.

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