A study of rupture characteristics of the 40 s subevent of the 1980 Irpinia earthquake

A. Mendez, F. Pacor


The Irpinia project, as carried out by ISMES under a commission from ENEL, had as objectives the developement of a general methodology to simulate broad-band seismic ground motion at near-source and regional distances, and the application of this methodology to the 1980 Irpinia earthquake. Within this general framework, one goal was the comparison of four previously published models for this earthquake in order to arrive at a plausible description of the source process. The comparative study was cast as an inverse problem: that of inferring the spatial extent and temporal behaviour of the rupture process, from geodetic measurements of surface deformation and near-source recordings of ground velocity. This study was complicated by the fact th the Irpinia earthquake was a complex event, involving at least three distinct rupture episodes in a time span of 40 s. However, this same complexity offers the opportunity of illustrating the use of inversion methodologies to 1) infer the spatial slip distribution on a multiple fault system; 2) address the problem of determining the accuracy of the inferred slip models, and 3) use information describing the static characteristics of an earthquakes as an aid in understanding the kinematics of the rupture. This last point is illustrated for the 40 s subevent through the results of a forward modeling study of high-frequency acceleration waveforms using a rupture model based on the inversion results.


extended source process;inversion;isochron;envelope;strong ground motion

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-4156
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X