Sensitivity of broad-band ground-motion simulations to earthquake source and Earth structure variations: an application to the Messina Straits (Italy)

by Walter Imperatori, P. Martin Mai
Year: 2012

Extra Information

Geophysical Journal International. March 2012, Vol. 188, Issue 3, Pages 1103–1116.


In this paper, we investigate ground-motion variability due to different faulting approximations and crustal-model parametrizations in the Messina Straits area (Southern Italy). Considering three 1-D velocity models proposed for this region and a total of 72 different source realizations, we compute broad-band (0-10 Hz) synthetics for Mw 7.0 events using a fault plane geometry recently proposed.

We explore source complexity in terms of classic kinematic (constant rise-time and rupture speed) and pseudo-dynamic models (variable rise-time and rupture speed). Heterogeneous slip distributions are generated using a Von Karman autocorrelation function. Rise-time variability is related to slip, whereas rupture speed variations are connected to static stress drop. Boxcar, triangle and modified Yoffe are the adopted source time functions.

We find that ground-motion variability associated to differences in crustal models is constant and becomes important at intermediate and long periods. On the other hand, source-induced ground-motion variability is negligible at long periods and strong at intermediate-short periods. Using our source-modelling approach and the three different 1-D structural models, we investigate shaking levels for the 1908 Mw 7.1 Messina earthquake adopting a recently proposed model for fault geometry and final slip. Our simulations suggest that peak levels in Messina and Reggio Calabria must have reached 0.6-0.7 g during this earthquake.