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pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 138, Issue 3, pp 407–427 | Cite as

A crack-like rupture model for the 19 September 1985 Michoacan, Mexico, earthquake

  • Stanley D. Ruppert
  • Kiyoshi Yomogida
Article

Abstract

Evidence supporting a smooth crack-like rupture process of the Michoacan earthquake of 1985 is obtained from a major earthquake for the first time. Digital strong motion data from three stations (Caleta de Campos, La Villita, and La Union), recording near-field radiation from the fault, show unusually simple ramped displacements and permanent offsets previously only seen in theoretical models. The recording of low frequency (0 to 1 Hz) near-field waves together with the apparently smooth rupture favors a crack-like model to a step or Haskell-type dislocation model under the constraint of the slip distribution obtained by previous studies. A crack-like rupture, characterized by an approximated dynamic slip function and systematic decrease in slip duration away from the point of rupture nucleation, produces the best fit to the simple ramped displacements observed. Spatially varying rupture duration controls several important aspects of the synthetic seismograms, including the variation in displacement rise times between components of motion observed at Caleta de Campos. Ground motion observed at Caleta de Campos can be explained remarkably well with a smoothly propagating crack model. However, data from La Villita and La Union suggest a more complex rupture process than the simple crack-like model for the south-eastern portion of the fault.

Key words

Crack-like rupture near-fault seismogram Michoacan earthquake 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley D. Ruppert
    • 1
  • Kiyoshi Yomogida
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeophysicsStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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