Efficient waveform inversion for average earthquake rupture in three-dimensional structures

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16 Scopus citations


Advances in observational, theoretical and computational technologies have made it possible for automatic, real-time solutions of the focal mechanisms of earthquake point sources. However, for earthquakes of moderate and greater magnitudes, the complexity of the source kinematic processes often requires additional characteristics on the source rupture in order to make seismotectonic inferences and to explain the observed directivity effects of the radiation of seismic energy. We develop an efficient and effective approach to determining the average finite-rupture models of moderate earthquakes by fitting synthetic and recorded broadband waveforms. A Green's tensor database is established using 3-D structural model with surface topography to enable rapid evaluations of accurate synthetic seismograms needed for source parameter inversions without the need for high-performance computing. We take a two-step strategy: In the first step, a point-source model is determined by a grid search for the best fault-plane solution. Then, taking the two nodal planes in the point-source model as candidates of the actual fault plane, a second grid search is carried out over a suite of simplified finite-rupture models to determine the optimal direction and speed of the integrated rupture of the finite source.We applied our method to four moderate events (MW ≈ 6) in southeastern Taiwan. Results show that our technique provides an effective choice in semi-automatic, near real-time determinations of finite-source parameters for earthquake hazard assessment and mitigation purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1279-1292
Number of pages14
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Asia
  • Computational seismology
  • Early warning
  • Earthquake source observations


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