Rapid kinematic finite-fault inversion for an Mw 7+ scenario earthquake in the Marmara Sea: An uncertainty study

Faqi Diao, Rongjiang Wang*, Hideo Aochi, Thomas R. Walter, Yong Zhang, Yong Zheng, Xiong Xiong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


During the 20th century, a series of devastating earthquakes occurred along the North Anatolian Fault. These generally propagated westwards, such that the main fault segment beneath the Marmara Sea appears as a seismic gap. For the nearby megacity Istanbul, rapid seismic hazard assessment is currently of great importance. A key issue is how a strong earthquake in the Marmara Sea can be characterized reliably and rapidly using the seismic network currently operating in this region. In order to investigate this issue, several scenario earthquakes on the main Marmara fault are simulated through dynamic modelling based on a 3-D structuremodel. The synthetic datasets are then used to reconstruct the source processes of the causal events with a recently developed iterative deconvolution and stacking method based on simplified 1-D Earth structure models. The results indicate that, by using certain a priori information about the fault geometry and focal mechanism, the tempo-spatial slip patterns of the input scenarios can be well resolved. If reasonable uncertainties are considered for the a priori information, the key source parameters, such as moment magnitude, fault size and slip centroid, can still be estimated reliably, while the detailed tempo-spatial rupture pattern may reveal significant variations. To reduce the effect induced by employing the inaccurate event location and focal mechanism, a new approach for absolute source imaging is proposed and tested. We also investigate the performance of the new source imaging tool for near real-time source inversion under the current network configuration in the Marmara Sea region. The results obtained are meaningful particularly for developing the rapid earthquake response system for the megacity Istanbul.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-824
Number of pages12
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Instability analysis
  • Inverse theory
  • Earthquake source observations
  • Early warning


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