Global compilation of InSAR earthquake source models: 2. Effects of 3D earth structure

A. M. G. Ferreira, J. Weston, G. J. Funning

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27 Citations (Scopus)


We carry out long-period surface wave centroid moment tensor (CMT) inversions using various global tomographic models and two different forward modeling techniques for 32 large earthquakes previously studied using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data. Since InSAR methods provide an alternative and independent way of locating and characterizing shallow continental earthquakes, comparisons of our source parameters with those from InSAR are a novel way to assess limitations in the InSAR models as well as the effects of inaccurate wave propagation formulations and/or 3-D Earth structure on earthquake source determinations. We show that comparing InSAR results with our seismic solutions is valuable to identify inaccuracies in the earthquake slip distribution retrieved using InSAR. Moreover, we find that using more accurate formulations, together with the best fitting Earth models, substantially reduces biases and differences between moment magnitude and fault strike determined using InSAR and seismic data. As expected for long-period surface wave source inversions for shallow earthquakes, the fault dip and rake angles are difficult to constrain, but we show that when using the best fitting Earth models, differences to InSAR estimates are reduced. Moreover, spurious deviations from a pure double-couple earthquake mechanism are on average smaller for the best fitting Earth models and the more accurate formulation of wave propagation. There are large differences between InSAR epicentral locations and those obtained in this study and, on average, no clear improvements to the Global CMT locations are achieved. This suggests that higher-resolution Earth models are necessary to further refine long-period CMT epicentral locations.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberB08409
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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