Ground Motion Prediction of Subduction Earthquakes using the Onshore-Offshore Ambient Seismic Field

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Loïc Viens, Hiroe Miyake and Kazuki Koketsu, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Seismic waves produced by earthquakes already caused plenty of damages all around the world and are still a real threat to human beings. To reduce seismic risk associated with future earthquakes, accurate ground motion predictions are required, especially for cities located atop sedimentary basins that can trap and amplify these seismic waves. We focus this study on long-period ground motions produced by subduction earthquakes in Japan which have the potential to damage large-scale structures, such as high-rise buildings, bridges, and oil storage tanks. We extracted the impulse response functions from the ambient seismic field recorded by two stations using one as a virtual source, without any preprocessing. This method allows to recover the reliable phases and relative, rather than absolute, amplitudes. To retrieve corresponding Green's functions, the impulse response amplitudes need to be calibrated using observational records of an earthquake which happened close to the virtual source. We show that Green's functions can be extracted between offshore submarine cable-based sea-bottom seismographic observation systems deployed by JMA located atop subduction zones and on-land NIED/Hi-net stations. In contrast with physics-based simulations, this approach has the great advantage to predict ground motions of moderate earthquakes (Mw ~5) at long-periods in highly populated sedimentary basin without the need of any external information about the velocity structure.