Research Article

Three-Dimensional Simulation of a Magnitude 7.75 Earthquake on the San Andreas Fault

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Science  08 Dec 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5242, pp. 1628-1632
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5242.1628


Simulation of 2 minutes of long-period ground motion in the Los Angeles area with the use of a three-dimensional finite-difference method on a parallel supercomputer provides an estimate of the seismic hazard from a magnitude 7.75 earthquake along the 170-kilometer section of the San Andreas fault between Tejon Pass and San Bernardino. Maximum ground velocities are predicted to occur near the fault (2.5 meters per second) and in the Los Angeles basin (1.4 meters per second) where large amplitude surface waves prolong shaking for more than 60 seconds. Simulated spectral amplitudes for some regions within the Los Angeles basin are up to 10 times larger than those at sites outside the basin at similar distances from the San Andreas fault.