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The 1992 $M_w$ 7.3 Landers earthquake is perhaps one of the best studied seismic events.
However, many aspects of the dynamics of the rupture process are still puzzling, e.g. how did rupture transfer between fault segments? We present 3D spontaneous dynamic rupture simulations of a new degree of realism, incorporating the interplay of fault geometry, topography, 3D rheology, off-fault plasticity and viscoelastic attenuation.
The surprisingly unique scenario reproduce a broad range of observations, including final slip distribution, seismic moment-rate function, seismic waveform characteristics and peak ground velocities, as well as shallow slip deficits and mapped off-fault deformation patterns. Sustained dynamic rupture of all fault segments in general, and rupture transfers in particular, put strong constraints on amplitude and orientation of initial fault stresses and friction. Source dynamics include dynamic triggering over large distances and direct branching; rupture terminates spontaneously on most of the principal fault segments. We achieve good agreement between synthetic and observed waveform characteristics and associated peak ground velocities. Despite very complex rupture evolution, ground motion variability is close to what is commonly assumed in Ground Motion Prediction Equations. We examine the effects of variations in modeling parameterization, e.g. purely elastic setups or models neglecting viscoelastic attenuation, in comparison to our preferred model.
Our integrative dynamic modeling approach demonstrates the potential of consistent in-scale earthquake rupture simulations for augmenting earthquake source observations and improving the understanding of earthquake source physics of complex, segmented fault systems.
GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1