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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-323
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-323
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 23 Jan 2019

Model description paper | 23 Jan 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

TREMOL: A stochastic rupture earthquake code based on the fiber bundle model. Application to Mexican subduction earthquakes

Marisol Monterrubio-Velasco1, Quetzalcóatl Rodríguez-Pérez2,3, Ramón Zúñiga2, Doreen Scholz4, Armando Aguilar-Meléndez1,5, and Josep de la Puente1 Marisol Monterrubio-Velasco et al.
  • 1Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Jordi Girona 29, C.P. 08034, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2Centro de Geociencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Juriquilla, Querétaro, 76230, México
  • 3Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Mexico City, 03940, Mexico
  • 4Fugro Germany Land GmbH, Wolfener Str. 36 U, 12681 Berlin, Germany
  • 5Facultad de Ingeniería Civil, Universidad Veracruzana, Poza Rica, Veracruz, 93390, México

Abstract. In general terms, earthquakes are the result of brittle failure within the heterogeneous crust of the Earth. However, the rupture process of a heterogeneous material is a complex physical problem which is difficult to model deterministically due to the numerous parameters and physical conditions, which are largely unknown. Considering the variability within the parametrization, it is necessary to analyze earthquakes by means of different approaches. Computational physics may offer alternative ways to study brittle rock failure by generating synthetic seismic data based on physical and statistical models, and by the use of only few free parameters. The Fiber Bundle model (FBM) is a discrete element model, which is able to describe complex rupture processes in heterogeneous materials. In this article, we present a computer code called stochasTic Rupture Earthquake MOdeL, TREMOL. This code is based on the principle of the FBM to investigate the rupture process of asperities on the earthquake rupture surface. In order to validate TREMOL, we carried out a parametric study at first to identify the best parameter configuration while minimizing computational efforts. As test cases, we applied the final configuration to 10 Mexican subduction zone earthquakes in order to compare the synthetic results by TREMOL with real data. According to our results, TREMOL is able to model the rupture of an asperity that is defined essentially by two basic dimensions: (1) the size of the fault plane, and (2) the size of the maximum asperity within the fault plane. Based on this data, and few additional parameters, TREMOL is able to generate numerous earthquakes as well as a maximum magnitude for different scenarios within a reasonable error range. The simulated earthquakes magnitudes are of the same order as the real earthquakes. Thus, TREMOL can be used to analyze the behavior of a single asperity or a group of asperities since TREMOL considers the maximum magnitude occurring on a fault plane as a function of the size of the asperity. TREMOL is a simple, and flexible model which allows its users to investigate the role of the initial stress configuration, and the dimensions and material properties of seismic asperities. Although various assumptions and simplifications are included in the model, we show that TREMOL can be a powerful tool which can deliver promising new insights into earthquake rupture processes.

Marisol Monterrubio-Velasco et al.
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Marisol Monterrubio-Velasco et al.
Model code and software

TREMOL_Singlets M. Monterrubio-Velasco https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2079346

Marisol Monterrubio-Velasco et al.
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Short summary
Earthquakes are the result of brittle failure within the heterogeneous crust of the Earth. In this article, we present a computer code called stochasTic Rupture Earthquake MOdeL, TREMOL, developed to investigate the rupture process of asperities on the earthquake rupture surface. According to our results, TREMOL is able to simulated magnitudes of real earthquakes, showing that can be a powerful tool which can deliver promising new insights into earthquake rupture processes.
Earthquakes are the result of brittle failure within the heterogeneous crust of the Earth. In...
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