Kinematic Earthquake Ground‐Motion Simulations on Listric Normal Faults

by Luca Passone, P. Martin Mai
Year: 2017


Extra Information

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. October 2017, Vol. 107, Issue 6, Pages 2980-2993.


Complex finite‐faulting source processes have important consequences for near‐source ground motions, but empirical ground‐motion prediction equations still lack near‐source data and hence cannot fully capture near‐fault shaking effects. Using a simulation‐based approach, we study the effects of specific source parameterizations on near‐field ground motions where empirical data are limited.

Here, we investigate the effects of fault listricity through near‐field kinematic ground‐motion simulations. Listric faults are defined as curved faults in which dip decreases with depth, resulting in a concave upward profile. The listric profiles used in this article are built by applying a specific shape function and varying the initial dip and the degree of listricity. Furthermore, we consider variable rupture speed and slip distribution to generate ensembles of kinematic source models. These ensembles are then used in a generalized 3D finite‐difference method to compute synthetic seismograms; the corresponding shaking levels are then compared in terms of peak ground velocities (PGVs) to quantify the effects of breaking fault planarity.

Our results show two general features: (1) as listricity increases, the PGVs decrease on the footwall and increase on the hanging wall, and (2) constructive interference of seismic waves emanated from the listric fault causes PGVs over two times higher than those observed for the planar fault. Our results are relevant for seismic hazard assessment for near‐fault areas for which observations are scarce, such as in the listric Campotosto fault (Italy) located in an active seismic area under a dam.