logo2s.gifBack Projection of the Rupture for the

2008 Eastern Sichuan Earthquake


P waveforms from about 700 Hi-Net stations in Japan were used in a back projection analyses of the rupture for the May 12, 2008 Eastern Sichuan, China earthquake. The stations in Japan are at a distance of about 25 to 30 degrees from the earthquake. The data are low-passed at 0.2 hz.


Fig. 1. Hi-net data for the P-wave recorded in Japan. The waveforms have been aligned on the first arrival.


The back-projection method determines tests a grid of points to determine which is the best location for the source of seismic radiation in each designated time window of the P wave.The initial arrival of the first time window was assumed to come from the grid point corresponding to the earthquake hypocenter. For each subsequent time window (itim), the data were stacked assuming a source at each grid point (igrid) using the equation,


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where s(igrid, itim) is the stack amplitude and t(ista, ipt) are time series for each station, ista., that has time points, ipt.. Relative time shifts for each time series were calculated using the theoretical travel times from the station to the grid point, using the IASPEI91 model. The grid of the 290 tested source locations for each time window is shown below.


Figure 2. Grid of source locations tested for each time window.


The results in the animation below show the rupture progresses from the epicenter in the southwest toward the northeast. The rupture velocity appears to be variable with an average speed of about 3 km/second.


Figure 3. Animation of the rupture propagation.



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