Using a short-baseline seismic array (U.S. Geological Survey Parkfield Dense Seismograph Array [UPSAR]) about 12 km west of the rupture initiation of the 28 September 2004 M 6.0 Parkfield, California, earthquake, we have observed the movement of the rupture front of this earthquake on the San Andreas fault. The sources of high-frequency arrivals at UPSAR, which we use to identify the rupture front, are mapped onto the San Andreas fault using their apparent velocity and back azimuth. Measurements of apparent velocity and back azimuth are calibrated using aftershocks, which have a compact source and known location. Aftershock back azimuths show considerable lateral refraction, consistent with a high-velocity ridge on the southwest side of the fault. We infer that the initial mainshock rupture velocity was approximately the Rayleigh speed (with respect to slower side of the fault), and the rupture then slowed to about 0.66?? near the town of Parkfield after 2 sec. The last well-correlated pulse, 4 sec after S, is the largest at UPSAR, and its source is near the region of large accelerations recorded by strong-motion accelerographs and close to northern extent of continuous surface fractures on the southwest fracture zone. Coincidence of sources with preshock and aftershock distributions suggests fault material properties control rupture behavior. High-frequency sources approximately correlate with the edges of asperities identified as regions of high slip derived from inversion of strong-motion waveforms.
Additional publication details
Rupture propagation of the 2004 Parkfield, California, earthquake from observations at the UPSAR