Using Tsunami Waves Reflected at the Coast to Improve Offshore Earthquake Source Parameters: Application to the 2016 Mw 7.1 Te Araroa Earthquake, New Zealand

Tatsuya Kubota, Tatsuhiko Saito, Yoshihiro Ito, Yoshihiro Kaneko, Laura M. Wallace, Syuichi Suzuki, Ryota Hino, Stuart Henrys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Te Araroa earthquake occurred on 2 September 2016 (local time) offshore of the northeastern coast of New Zealand's North Island (Mw 7.1). When this event occurred, ocean bottom pressure gauges (OBPs), installed ~170 km south of the source area, clearly recorded direct tsunami from the source to OBPs (~ −1.5 cm), and tsunami from coastal reflections (~2 cm). We estimate the centroid location that best reproduces the OBP waveforms. When using the direct wave alone, the centroid location is poorly constrained, with a horizontal uncertainty of ~100 km. By combining both direct and reflected tsunami waveforms, we obtain a centroid location near the Global Centroid Moment Tensor centroid (~80 km northeast from the coast) with smaller uncertainty (~40 km). We also estimate the earthquake source dimension (length and width) and found that the models using coastal reflections require a source dimension larger than ~30 km long. Based on the slip distribution obtained by the finite fault inversion, we obtain an energy-based stress drop ΔσE of 1.0 MPa, consistent with typical earthquake stress drop values. This study shows that the information added by coastal reflected tsunami provides much tighter constraints on the centroid location, source dimension, and stress drop of offshore earthquakes, which is difficult to obtain from the onshore seismic data alone. Future studies should utilize the information provided by coastal reflected waves to improve earthquake source modeling using ocean bottom pressure data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8767-8779
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume123
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct

Keywords

  • CMT solution
  • coastal reflected wave
  • earthquake source parameter
  • ocean bottom absolute pressure gauge
  • tsunami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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