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Imaging Stress and Faulting Complexity Through Earthquake Waveform Similarity

Trugman, Daniel T. and Ross, Zachary E. and Johnson, Paul A. (2020) Imaging Stress and Faulting Complexity Through Earthquake Waveform Similarity. Geophysical Research Letters, 47 (1). Art. No. e2019GL085888. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2019gl085888.

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While the rupture processes of nearby earthquakes are often highly similar, characterizing the differences can provide insight into the complexity of the stress field and fault network in which the earthquakes occur. Here we perform a comprehensive analysis of earthquake waveform similarity to characterize rupture processes in the vicinity of Ridgecrest, California. We quantify how similar each earthquake is to neighboring events through cross correlation of full waveforms. The July 2019 Ridgecrest mainshocks impose a step reduction in earthquake similarity, which suggests variability in the residual stress field and activated fault structures on length scales of hundreds of meters or less. Among these aftershocks, we observe coherent spatial variations of earthquake similarity along the mainshock rupture trace, and document antisimilar aftershock pairs with waveforms that are nearly identical but with reversed polarity. These observations provide new, high‐resolution constraints on stress transfer and faulting complexity throughout the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemCode
Trugman, Daniel T.0000-0002-9296-4223
Ross, Zachary E.0000-0002-6343-8400
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Received 17 OCT 2019; Accepted 23 DEC 2019; Accepted article online 3 JAN 2020. The seismic waveform, earthquake catalog, and focal mechanism data that form the basis of this study are publicly available from the Southern California Earthquake Data Center ( Data Set S1 in the supporting information contains the relocated earthquake catalog and results of the similarity analysis presented in this study. Our calculations use publicly available Python packages including ObsPy (Beyreuther et al., 2010) and the open source GrowClust software ( for earthquake relocations. D. Trugman acknowledges institutional support from the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program of Los Alamos National Laboratory under Project 20180700PRD1. P. Johnson was supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. We are grateful to J. Vidale, an anonymous reviewer, and Editor J. Ritsema for constructive comments and suggestions that improved the manuscript. We also thank C. Hulbert, I. McBrearty, B. Rouet‐Leduc, C. Ren, R. Guyer, and H. Bhat for insightful discussions while crafting and revising this work.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Los Alamos National Laboratory20180700PRD1
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:earthquake similarity; waveform cross correlation; crustal stress; fault structure; slip mechanism
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200305-130618251
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Official Citation:Trugman, D. T., Ross, Z. E., & Johnson, P. A. (2020). Imaging stress and faulting complexity through earthquake waveform similarity. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2019GL085888.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101723
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Mar 2020 23:28
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:05

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