Hybrid Broadband Ground-Motion Simulations: Combining Long-Period Deterministic Synthetics with High-Frequency Multiple S-to-S Backscattering

by P. Martin Mai, Walter Imperatori, Kim B. Olsen
Year: 2010

Extra Information

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. October 2010, Vol. 100, Issue 5A, Pages 2124–2142.


We present a new approach for computing broadband (0–10 Hz) synthetic seismograms by combining high-frequency (HF) scattering with low-frequency (LF) deterministic seismograms, considering finite-fault earthquake rupture models embedded in 3D earth structure. Site-specific HF-scattering Green’s functions for a heterogeneous medium with uniformly distributed random isotropic scatterers are convolved with a source-time function that characterizes the temporal evolution of the rupture process. These scatterograms are then reconciled with the LF-deterministic waveforms using a frequency-domain optimization to match both amplitude and phase spectra around the target intersection frequency. The scattering parameters of the medium, scattering attenuation ηs, intrinsic attenuation ηi, and site-kappa, as well as frequency-dependent attenuation, determine waveform and spectral character of the HF-synthetics and thus affect the hybrid broadband seismograms. Applying our methodology to the 1994 Northridge earthquake and validating against near-field recordings at 24 sites, we find that our technique provides realistic broadband waveforms and consistently reproduces LF ground-motion intensities for two independent source descriptions. The least biased results, compared to recorded strong-motion data, are obtained after applying a frequency-dependent site-amplification factor to the broadband simulations. This innovative hybrid ground-motion simulation approach, applicable to any arbitrarily complex earthquake source model, is well suited for seismic hazard analysis and ground-motion estimation.