A formulation of directivity for earthquake sources using isochrone theory

Open-File Report 2004-1268

, , , ,



A functional form for directivity effects can be derived from isochrone theory, in which the measure of the directivity-induced amplification of an S body wave is c, the isochrone velocity. Ground displacement of the near-, intermediate-, and far-field terms of P and S waves is linear in isochrone velocity for a finite source in a whole space. We have developed an approximation c-tilde-prime of isochrone velocity that can easily be implemented as a predictor of directivity effects in empirical ground motion prediction relations. Typically, for a given fault surface, hypocenter, and site geometry, c-tilde-prime is a simple function of the hypocentral distance, the rupture distance, the crustal shear wave speed in the seismogenic zone, and the rupture velocity. c-tilde-prime typically ranges in the interval 0.44, for rupture away from the station, to about 4, for rupture toward the station. In this version of the theory directivity is independent of period. Additionally, we have created another functional form which is c-tilde-prime modified to include the approximate radiation pattern of a finite fault having a given rake. This functional form can be used to model the spatial variations of fault-parallel and fault-normal horizontal ground motions. The strengths of this formulation are 1) the proposed functional form is based on theory, 2) the predictor is unambiguously defined for all possible site locations and source rakes, and 3) it can easily be implemented for well-studied important previous earthquakes. We compare predictions of our functional form with synthetic ground motions calculated for finite strike-slip and dip-slip faults in the magnitude range 6.5 - 7.5. In general our functional form correlates best with computed fault-normal and fault-parallel motions in the synthetic motions calculated for events with M6.5. Correlation degrades but is still useful for larger events and for the geometric average horizontal motions. We have had limited success applying it to geometrically complicated faults.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
A formulation of directivity for earthquake sources using isochrone theory
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Version 1.0
Year Published:
54 p.