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Seismic wave simulation using a 3D printed model of the Los Angeles Basin

Park, Sunyoung and Shin, Changsoo and Kim, Younglib and Clayton, Robert W. (2022) Seismic wave simulation using a 3D printed model of the Los Angeles Basin. Scientific Reports, 12 . Art. No. 4613. ISSN 2045-2322. PMCID PMC8931089. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-08732-w.

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Studying seismic wave propagation through complex media is crucial to numerous aspects of geophysics and engineering including seismic hazard assessment. In particular, small-scale structure such as sedimentary basins and their edges can have significant effects on high-frequency earthquake ground motion, which is the main cause for the damage to buildings and infrastructure. However, such structural effects are poorly understood due to limitations in numerical and analytical methods. To overcome this challenge, for the first time, we utilize the 3D printing technique to build a scaled-down physical representation of geological structure and perform lab-scale seismic experiments on it. Specifically, a physical model based on the Los Angeles Basin is printed and used as synthetic medium to propagate ultrasonic waves, to mimic seismic wave propagation from local earthquakes. Our results show clear body and surface waves recorded at expected time and locations, as well as waves that are scattered from the basin edges. We find that high-frequency energies are significantly reduced at the basin, which is at odds with the conventional view of basins as ground motion amplifiers. This novel waveform modeling approach with 3D printed Earth models is largely automated and provides an effective means to tackle geophysical problems of significance.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Park, Sunyoung0000-0002-6660-0047
Clayton, Robert W.0000-0003-3323-3508
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit Received 26 October 2021; Accepted 03 March 2022; Published 17 March 2022. The authors thank the editor, Antonella Amoruson, and the two reviewers, Luca De Siena and Renaud Toussaint, for useful comments that improved our manuscript. The authors thank Daechul Kim, Bruno Pouet, and Andreas Plesch for the helpful discussions. S.P. was partially funded by California Institute of Technology. C.S. thanks the Institute of Engineering Research at Seoul National University. Data availability: Seismic data obtained in this study is available at an online data repository29 ( Contributions: S.P. conceptualized the study, analyzed the data, interpreted the results, and wrote the manuscript. C.S. conceived the methodology and obtained the seismic data. Y.K. 3D printed the physical model. R.W.C. supervised the study and edited the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Seoul National UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Civil engineering; Design, synthesis and processing; Geophysics; Natural hazards; Seismology
PubMed Central ID:PMC8931089
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220317-156665700
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Park, S., Shin, C., Kim, Y. et al. Seismic wave simulation using a 3D printed model of the Los Angeles Basin. Sci Rep 12, 4613 (2022).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113957
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Mar 2022 23:13
Last Modified:28 Jun 2022 21:51

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