Ground motions from the 7 and 19 September, 2017 Tehuantepec and Puebla-Morelos, Mexico, earthquakes

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
By: , and 



The 2017 M 8.2 Tehuantepec and M 7.1 Puebla‐Morelos earthquakes were deep inslab normal‐faulting events that caused significant damage to several central‐to‐southern regions of Mexico. Inslab earthquakes are an important component of seismicity and seismic hazard in Mexico. Ground‐motion prediction equations (GMPEs) are an integral part of seismic hazard assessment as well as risk and rapid‐response products. This work examines the observed ground motions from these two events in comparison to the predicted median ground motions from four GMPEs. The residuals between the observed and modeled ground motions allow us to study regional differences in shaking, the effects of each earthquake, and basin effects in Mexico City, Puebla, and Oaxaca. We find that the ground motions from these two earthquakes are generally well modeled by the GMPEs. However, the Tehuantepec event shows larger than expected ground motions at greater distances and longer periods, which suggests a waveguide effect from the subduction zone geometry. Finally, Mexico City and the cities of Puebla and Oaxaca exhibit very large ground motions, indicative of well‐known site and basin effects that are much stronger than the basin terms included in some of the GMPEs. Simple and rapid ground‐motion parameter estimates that include site effects are key for hazard and real‐time risk assessments in regions such as Mexico, where the vast majority of the population lives in areas where the aforementioned effects are relevant. However, GMPEs based on site correction terms dependent on topographic slope proxies underestimate, at least in the three cities tackled in this work, the observed amplification. Therefore, there is a need to improve models of seismic amplification in basins that could be included in GMPEs.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Ground motions from the 7 and 19 September, 2017 Tehuantepec and Puebla-Morelos, Mexico, earthquakes
Series title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
DOI 10.1785/0120180108
Volume 108
Issue 6
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Seismological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 3300
Last page 3312
Country Mexico
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