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Authors: Nielsen, S.* 
Olsen, K.* 
Title: Constraints on stress and friction from dynamic rupture models of the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake
Issue Date: 2000
Series/Report no.: /157 (2000)
Keywords: stress drop
slip pulses
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.03. Earthquake source and dynamics 
Abstract: We have simulated several scenarios of dynamic rupture propagation for the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake, using a three-dimensional finite-difference method. The simulations use a rate- and slip-weakening friction law, starting from a range of initial conditions of stress and frictional parameters. A critical balance between initial conditions and friction parameters must be met in order to obtain a moment as well as a final slip distribution in agreement with kinematic slip inversion results. We find that the rupture process is strongly controlled by the average stress and connectivity of high-stress patches on the fault. In particular, a strong connectivity of the high-stress patches is required in order to promote the rupture propagation from the initial nucleation to the remaining part of the fault. Moreover, we find that a small amount of rate-weakening is needed in order to obtain a level of inhomogeneity in the final slip, similar to that obtained in the kinematic inversion results. However, when the amount of rate-weakening is increased, the overall moment drops dramatically unless the average prestress is raised to unrealistic levels. A velocity-weakening parameter on the order of 10 cm per second is found to be adequate for an average prestress of about a hundred bars. The presence of the free surface and of the uppermost low-impedance layers in the model are found to have negligible influence on the rupture dynamics itself, because the top of the fault is at a depth of several kilometers. The 0.1–0.5 Hz radiated waves from the dynamic simulation provides a good fit to strong motion data at sites NWH and SSA. Underprediction of the recorded peak amplitude at JFP is likely due to omission of near-surface low velocity and 3-D basin effects in the simulations.
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