A distributed-source approach to modelling the spatial distribution of MM intensities resulting from large crustal New Zealand earthquakes
This paper presents a new approach to modelling the spatial distribution of intensities in crustal earthquakes, using a distributed source. The source is represented by one or two rectangular fault rupture planes of chosen dip, discretised into small rectangles each with its own share of the total seismic moment, and modelling chosen distributions of asperities. The Modified Mercalli (MM) intensity of shaking is represented by isoseismals. Comparisons are made with the actual isoseismals (particularly of intensities MM9 and MM10) of selected large historical crustal New Zealand earthquakes and those predicted by the simpler models of Dowrick & Rhoades (2005). Important differences and insights are found regarding near-source spatial distributions of ground shaking of shallow earthquakes with rupture length greater than about 28 km (Mw > 6.8) with any dip, and for Mw > c. 5.5 with dip < 60º. The influence of asperities relative to that of non-asperities is seen as modest near-fault increases in intensity. The new model can be applied to planar or biplanar fault ruptures of any length, width and dip. In the absence of isoseismal data on large earthquakes with normal focal mechanisms the current model is only verified for use on strike-slip and reverse events. A new concept, seismic-source intensity, is introduced and utilized.
The new model can also be applied to earthquakes in other regions of the world with adjustments for local attenuation rates as necessary.
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