High-Resolution Finite Fault Slip Inversion of the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Using 3D Finite Element Modeling

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American Geophysical Union

The 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence manifested as one of the most complex fault surface ruptures observed in California in modern times. The M6.4 foreshock and M7.1 mainshock occurred on an intricate network of orthogonal and sub-parallel faults resulting in observable surface displacement and surface rupture captured by geodetic data. Here we present the application of a high-resolution 3D finite element model (FEM) approach to invert for the detailed fault slip of the entire sequence using complex rheology and fused coseismic Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data with Sentinel-1 differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar and pixel offset data. The heterogeneous FEM and the fused geodetic data set of pixel offsets, interferograms, and GNSS data results in our optimal inversion solution. This preferred solution is a complex, high-resolution non-planar slip model of both the M6.4 and M7.1 events that features three main regions of large slip (6.9+ m), with depths ranging from 2 to 10 km. The regions of slip are bounded by the mainshock hypocenter and the mainshock aftershocks and appear to be related to spatially varying rheological properties. We successfully reproduce a localized region of observed subsidence in the northern portion of the primary fault through the inclusion of a curved fault strand with a significant dip-slip component. The curved fault strand is the site of our maximum slip of 7.4 m at a depth of 4.2 km. The results demonstrate a robust fit from a more complete, detailed model for the entire seismogenic zone with reasonable computational cost, providing new insights into the governing rheologic and structural processes.

finite element model, Ridgecrest earthquake, fused data, DInSAR, complex rheology, pixel offsets