Ground Motion in Central Mexico: A Comprehensive Analysis

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Leonardo Ramirez-Guzman, Alan Juarez, Santiago Rábade and Jorge Aguirre, UNAM National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
This study presents a detailed analysis of the ground motion in Central Mexico based on numerical simulations, as well as broadband and strong ground motion records. We describe and evaluate a velocity model for Central Mexico derived from noise and regional earthquake cross-correlations, which is used throughout this research to estimate the ground motion in the region. The 3D crustal model includes a geotechnical structure of the Valley of Mexico (VM), subduction zone geometry, and 3D velocity distributions. The latter are based on more than 200 low magnitude (Mw < 4.5) earthquakes and two years of noise recordings. We emphasize the analysis on the ground motion in the Valley of Mexico originating from intra-slab deep events and temblors located along the Pacific coast. Also, we quantify the effects Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) and the low-velocity deposits on the ground motion. The 3D octree-based finite element wave propagation computations, valid up to 1 Hz, reveal that the inclusion of a basin with a structure as complex as the Valley of Mexico dramatically enhances the regional effects induced by the TMVB. Moreover, the basin not only produces ground motion amplification and anomalous duration, but it also favors the energy focusing into zones of Mexico City where structures typically undergo high levels of damage.