3D Dynamic Rupture Simulations Across Interacting Faults: the Mw7.0, 2010, Haiti Earthquake
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
The mechanisms controlling rupture propagation between fault segments during an earthquake are key to the hazard posed by fault systems. Rupture initiation on a fault segment sometimes transfers to a larger fault, resulting in a significant event (e.g.i, 2002 M7.9Denali and 2010 M7.1 Darfield earthquakes). In other cases rupture is constrained to the initial segment and does not transfer to nearby faults, resulting in events of moderate magnitude. This is the case of the 1989 M6.9 Loma Prieta and 2010 M7.0 Haiti earthquakes which initiated on reverse faults abutting against a major strike-slip plate boundary fault but did not propagate onto it. Here we investigatethe rupture dynamics of the Haiti earthquake, seeking to understand why rupture propagated across two segments of the Léogâne fault but did not propagate to the adjacenent Enriquillo Plantain Garden Fault, the major 200 km long plate boundary fault cutting through southern Haiti. We use a Finite Element Model to simulate the nucleation and propagation of rupture on the Léogâne fault, varying friction and background stress to determine the parameter set that best explains the observed earthquake sequence. The best-fit simulation is in remarkable agreement with several finite fault inversions and predicts ground displacement in very good agreement with geodetic and geological observations. The two slip patches inferred from finite-fault inversions are explained by the successive rupture of two fault segments oriented favorably with respect to the rupture propagation, while the geometry of the Enriquillo fault did not allow shear stress to reach failure. Although our simulation results replicate well the ground deformation consistent with the geodetic surface observation but convolving the ground motion with the soil amplification from the microzonation study will correctly account for the heterogeneity of the PGA throughout the rupture area.