Research in the Earthquake Source Process

The animated gif is a movie of the rupture process of the January 17, 1994 Northridge, CA earthquake. To see the animation again push the reload button. The Northridge earthquake initiates at 19km depth in this simulation and does not reach the surface (top of image).
View Movie of Northridge Rupture

The 1994 Northridge earthquake is interesting in many ways. It is probably the best recorded earthquake in terms of coverage and bandwidth. Using short-period stations it is possible to obtain precise aftershock locations. Using either near source strong motion data or regional distance broadband data it is possible to describe the spatio-temporal distribution of fault slip. When the aftershocks and fault slip are compared an interesting correlation arises where the aftershocks are found to cluster around the region of greatest slip. Follow this link to a paper describing our study.

Asya Kaverina and I have recently demonstrated that it is possible to estimate the spatio-temporal distribution of fault slip for large earthquakes recorded at regional distances using a relatively sparse network of broadband stations. Our preliminary results indicate the that the slip maps are of sufficient definition to be used to calculate near source strong shaking maps. The implication of this work is that it may be possible to obtain essential strong shaking information quickly following and earthquake given regional recordings for areas that may have little or no local strong motion instrumentation.

October 16, 1999 Hector Mine Earthquake Geophysics Research Letters Paper

Compound Rupture of the 1988 Antarctic Plate Earthquake