We present a waveform inversion method that uses recordings of small events as Green's functions to map the rupture growth of moderate earthquakes. The method fits P and S waveforms from many stations simultaneously in an iterative procedure to estimate the subevent rupture time and amplitude relative to the Green's function event. We invert the accelerograms written by two moderate Parkfield earthquakes using smaller events as Green's functions. The first earthquake (M = 4.6) occurred on November 14, 1993, at a depth of 11 km under Middle Mountain, in the assumed preparation zone for the next Parkfield main shock. The second earthquake (M = 4.7) occurred on December 20, 1994, some 6 km to the southeast, at a depth of 9 km on a section of the San Andreas fault with no previous microseismicity and little inferred coseismic slip in the 1966 Parkfield earthquake. The inversion results are strikingly different for the two events. The average stress release in the 1993 event was 50 bars, distributed over a geometrically complex area of 0.9 km2. The average stress release in the 1994 event was only 6 bars, distributed over a roughly elliptical area of 20 km2. The ruptures of both events appear to grow spasmodically into relatively complex shapes: the inversion only constrains the ruptures to grow more slowly than the S wave velocity but does not use smoothness constraints. Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Mapping the rupture process of moderate earthquakes by inverting accelerograms