pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 163, Issue 9, pp 1819–1846 | Cite as

Virtual California: Fault Model, Frictional Parameters, Applications

  • P. B. Rundle
  • J. B. Rundle
  • K. F. Tiampo
  • A. Donnellan
  • D. L. Turcotte
Article

Abstract

Virtual California is a topologically realistic simulation of the interacting earthquake faults in California. Inputs to the model arise from field data, and typically include realistic fault system topologies, realistic long-term slip rates, and realistic frictional parameters. Outputs from the simulations include synthetic earthquake sequences and space-time patterns together with associated surface deformation and strain patterns that are similar to those seen in nature. Here we describe details of the data assimilation procedure we use to construct the fault model and to assign frictional properties. In addition, by analyzing the statistical physics of the simulations, we can show that that the frictional failure physics, which includes a simple representation of a dynamic stress intensity factor, leads to self-organization of the statistical dynamics, and produces empirical statistical distributions (probability density functions: PDFs) that characterize the activity. One type of distribution that can be constructed from empirical measurements of simulation data are PDFs for recurrence intervals on selected faults. Inputs to simulation dynamics are based on the use of time-averaged event-frequency data, and outputs include PDFs representing measurements of dynamical variability arising from fault interactions and space-time correlations. As a first step for productively using model-based methods for earthquake forecasting, we propose that simulations be used to generate the PDFs for recurrence intervals instead of the usual practice of basing the PDFs on standard forms (Gaussian, Log-Normal, Pareto, Brownian Passage Time, and so forth). Subsequent development of simulation-based methods should include model enhancement, data assimilation and data mining methods, and analysis techniques based on statistical physics.

Keywords

Earthquakes simulations fault Systems forecasting statistics 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. B. Rundle
    • 1
  • J. B. Rundle
    • 1
  • K. F. Tiampo
    • 2
  • A. Donnellan
    • 3
  • D. L. Turcotte
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Computational Science and Engineering and Departments of Physics and EngineeringUniversity of California at DavisDavisU.S.A
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  3. 3.Earth and Space Science DivisionJet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaU.S.A
  4. 4.Department of GeologyUniversity of California at DavisDavisU.S.A

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