In this research we characterize the goodness-of-fit between observed and synthetic seismograms from three small magnitude (M3.6-4.5) earthquakes in the region using the Wasatch Front community velocity model (WCVM) in order to determine the ability of the WCVM to predict earthquake ground motions for scenario earthquake modeling efforts. We employ the goodness-of-fit algorithms and criteria of Olsen and Mayhew (2010). In focusing comparisons on the ground motion parameters that are of greatest importance in engineering seismology, we find that the synthetic seismograms calculated using the WCVM produce a fair fit to the observed ground motion records up to a frequency of 0.5 Hz for two of the modeled earthquakes and up to 0.1 Hz for one of the earthquakes. In addition to the reference seismic material model (WCVM), we carry out earthquake simulations using material models with perturbations to the regional seismic model and with perturbations to the deep sedimentary basins. Simple perturbations to the regional seismic velocity model and to the seismic velocities of the sedimentary basin result in small improvements in the observed misfit but do not indicate a significantly improved material model. Unresolved differences between the observed and synthetic seismograms are likely due to un-modeled heterogeneities and incorrect basin geometries in the WCVM. These differences suggest that ground motion prediction accuracy from deterministic modeling varies across the region and further efforts to improve the WCVM are needed.
Additional Publication Details
Long-period earthquake simulations in the Wasatch Front, UT: misfit characterization and ground motion estimates