Data obtained by GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) have been used to invert for the seismic source parameters of megathrust earthquakes under the assumption of either uniform slip over an entire fault or a point-like seismic source. Herein, we further extend the inversion of GRACE long-wavelength gravity changes to heterogeneous slip distributions during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake using three fault models: (I) a constant-strike and constant-dip fault, (II) a variable dip fault, and (III) a realistically varying strike fault. By removing the post-seismic signal from the time series, and taking the effect of ocean water redistribution into account, we invert for slip models I, II, and III using co-seismic gravity changes measured by GRACE, de-striped by DDK3 decorrelation filter. The total seismic moments of our slip models, with respective values of 4.9×1022 Nm, 5.1×1022 Nm, and 5.0×1022 Nm, are smaller than those obtained by other studies relying on GRACE data. The resulting centroids are also located at greater depths (20 km, 19.8 km, and 17.4 km, respectively). By combining onshore GPS, GPS-Acoustic, and GRACE data, we obtain a jointly inverted slip model with a seismic moment of 4.8×1022 Nm, which is larger than the seismic moment obtained using only the GPS displacements. We show that the slip inverted from low degree space-borne gravimetric data, which contains information at the ocean region, is affected by the strike of the arcuate trench. The space-borne gravimetric data help us constrain the source parameters of a megathrust earthquake within the frame of heterogeneous slip models.
The 13 November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake occurred in the northeastern coastal region of the South Island, New Zealand. The Mw 7.8 mainshock generated a complex pattern of surface ruptures, and was followed within about 12 hours by three moderate shocks of Mw ≥ 6.0. Here we use teleseismic waveforms to invert for the source rupture of the Kaikoura earthquake. The resulting slip-distribution model exhibits insignificant slip near the hypocenter and three pockets of major slip zones with distinct senses of motion. The mainshock started from a rupture near the hypocenter, grew into thrust on shallow crustal faults ~50 km northeast of the hypocenter, and then developed into two slip zones: a deeper one with oblique thrust and a shallower one with almost purely right-lateral strike-slip. Locations of the thrust and strike-slip motions in the slip-distribution model agree well with reported coastal uplifts and horizontal offsets. The overall slip pattern is dominated by horizontal motion, especially at shallow depth, due to the partitioning of thrust and strike-slip motions above the subduction zone megathrust. Aftershock distribution suggests that most aftershocks tend to occur near the edges of the major slip zones of the mainshock. This observation on aftershock locations may provide useful information for seismic hazard assessments after large earthquakes.
This study tested five methods widely used in estimating the complete magnitudes (MC) of earthquake catalogs. Using catalogs of observed earthquake properties, we test the performance of these five algorithms under several challenging conditions, such as small volume of events and spatial-temporal heterogeneity, in order to see whether the algorithms are stable and in agreement with known data. We find that the maximum curvature method (MAXC) has perfect stability, but will significantly underestimate MC unless heterogeneity is absent. MC estimated by the b-value stability method (MBS) requires many events to reach a stable result. Results from the goodness of fit method (GFT) were unstable when heterogeneity lowered the fitness level. The entire magnitude range method (EMR) is relatively stable in most conditions, and can reflect the change in MC when heterogeneity exists, but when the incomplete part of the earthquake catalog is dismissed, this method fails. The median-based analysis of the segment slope method (MBASS) can tolerate small sample size, but is incapable of reflecting the missing degree of small events in aftershock sequences. In conditions where MC changes rapidly, such as in aftershock sequences, observing the time sequence directly can give a precise estimation of the complete sub-catalog, but only when the number of events available for study is large enough can the MAXC, GFT, and MBS methods give a similarly reliable estimation.