Finite Fault Modeling of Near-Field Rock Motions in the New Madrid Seismic Zone


Due to lack of strong motion records, point-source and finite-fault models have been used to simulate far-field motions at Memphis and St. Louis Cities from earthquake events in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. However, near-field rock motions and their associated uncertainties have never been studied within this zone. the objectives of this study are to develop a simple procedure to account for the uncertainty effect of earthquake source parameters, to analyze the sensitivity of near-field rock motions to input source parameters, and finally, to generate rock motions at two sites located within 11 km from the southwestern segment (strike-fault) and a third site above the Reelfoot Rift (reverse fault) using a well-validated finite-fault simulation program; FINSIM. an equal-weight logic tree was developed to ensure that the assumed uncertainties are within physical, geological, and seismological constraints. For each site, 100 acceleration time histories with various combinations of parameter uncertainties were respectively simulated for an earthquake of MW 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0 from each of the two faults. Their average spectral accelerations were in good agreement with those derived from the attenuation relationships representative to the Central and Eastern United States. Numerical simulations indicated that spectral accelerations are sensitive to the slip velocity, depth to top of fault, fault strike, slip distribution, and hypocentre location along the strike.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Attenuation; Depth; Earthquake Engineering; Models; Strike; Strike-Slip Faults; Strong Motion; Velocity

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2004 Taylor & Francis, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2004