We have developed a community velocity model for the Pacific Northwest region from northern California to southern Canada and carried out the first 3D simulation of a Mw 9.0 megathrust earthquake rupturing along the Cascadia subduction zone using a parallel supercomputer. A long-period (<0.5 Hz) source model was designed by mapping the inversion results for the December 26, 2004 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake (Han et al., Science 313(5787):658–662, 2006) onto the Cascadia subduction zone. Representative peak ground velocities for the metropolitan centers of the region include 42 cm/s in the Seattle area and 8–20 cm/s in the Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver, and Portland areas. Combined with an extended duration of the shaking up to 5 min, these long-period ground motions may inflict significant damage on the built environment, in particular on the highrises in downtown Seattle.
Additional publication details
3D crustal structure and long-period ground motions from a M9.0 megathrust earthquake in the Pacific Northwest region