The 2009 L’Aquila earthquake coseismic rupture: open issues and new insights from 3D finite element inversion of GPS, InSAR and strong motion data

Manuela Volpe, Simone Atzori, Antonio Piersanti, Daniele Melini


We present a Finite Element inverse analysis of the static deformation field for the Mw= 6.3, 2009 L’Aquila earthquake, in order to infer the rupture slip distribution on the fault plane. An univocal solution for the rupture slip distribution has not been reached yet with negative impact for reliable hazard scenarios in a densely populated area. In this study, Finite Element computed Green’s functions were implemented in a linear joint inversion scheme of geodetic (GPS and InSAR) and seismological (strong motion) coseismic deformation data. In order to fully exploit the informative power of our dense dataset and to honor the complexities of the real Earth, we implemented an optimized source model, represented by a fault plane subdivided in variable size patches, embedded in a high-resolution realistic three-dimensional model of the Apenninic seismo-tectonic setting, accounting for topographic reliefs and rheological heterogeneities deduced from local tomography. We infer that the investigated inversion domain contains two minima configurations in the solution space, i.e. a single- and a double-patch slip distribution, which are almost equivalent, so that the available datasets and numerical models are not able to univocally discriminate between them. Nevertheless our findings suggest that a two high-slip patch pattern is slightly favoured.


Numerical approximations and analysis; Seismicity and tectonics; Dynamics and mechanics of faulting; Europe

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X