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Authors: Volpe, Manuela* 
Casarotti, Emanuele* 
Piersanti, Antonio* 
Title: 3D Finite Element Modeling of the 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake Deformation Field
Issue Date: 14-Dec-2009
Keywords: Finite element method
coseismic deformation
L'Aquila earthquake
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.01. Crustal deformations 
Abstract: The L'Aquila earthquake (Mw 6.3) occurred on April 6th at 01:32 UTC in the Central Appennines at a depth of about 9 km and was felt all over Central Italy. The main shock was preceded by a long seismic sequence started several months before and was followed by thousands of aftershocks, some of them with Mw>4. We built up a high resolution three-dimensional model, incorporating surface topography, which was discretized using 20-nodes brick elements. The element horizontal size is biased from 500 m to 2 km using the paving meshing algorithm in combination with an appropriate adaptive sizing function. A realistic rheology was introduced from a vp/vpvs travel time tomographic model. We computed the co-seismic deformation induced by the earthquake by means of a recently developed finite elements simulation tool, FEMSA (Finite Element Modeling for Seismic Applications). We used different seismic source models obtained from fault inversion of GPS measurements, joint inversion of strong motion and GPS data and from inversion of DInSAR displacements. The synthetic deformation patterns were compared with the experimental results in order to evaluate which source model better reconciles the data and quantify the trade off introduced by 1D simulations.
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