Rapid characterisation of large earthquakes by multiple seismic broadband arrays
Abstract. An automatic procedure is presented to retrieve rupture parameters for large earthquakes along the Sunda arc subduction zone. The method is based on standard array analysis and broadband seismograms registered within 30°–100° epicentral distance. No assumptions on source mechanism are required. By means of semblance the coherency of P waveforms is analysed at separate large-aperture arrays. Waveforms are migrated to a 10°×10° wide source region to study the spatio-temporal evolution of earthquakes at each array. The multiplication of the semblance source maps resulting at each array increases resolution. Start, duration, extent, direction, and propagation velocity are obtained and published within 25 min after the onset of the event. First preliminary results can be obtained even within 16 min. Their rapid determination may improve the mitigation of the earthquake and tsunami hazard. Real-time application will provide rupture parameters to the GITEWS project (German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System). The method is applied to the two M8.0 Sumatra earthquakes on 12 September 2007, to the M7.4 Java earthquake on 2 September 2009, and to major subduction earthquakes that have occurred along Sumatra and Java since 2000. Obtained rupture parameters are most robust for the largest earthquakes with magnitudes M≥8. The results indicate that almost the entire seismogenic part of the subduction zone off the coast of Sumatra has been ruptured. Only the great Sumatra event in 2004 and the M7.7 Java event on 17 July 2006 could reach to or close to the surface at the trench. Otherwise, the rupturing was apparently confined to depths below 25 km. Major seismic gaps seem to remain off the coast of Padang and the southern tip of Sumatra.