25‐Second Determination of 2019 Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest Earthquake Coseismic Deformation

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Geological Sciences

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We have developed a global earthquake monitoring system based on low‐latency measurements from more than 1000 existing Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) receivers, of which nine captured the 2019 Mw 6.4 Ridgecrest, California, foreshock and Mw 7.1 mainshock earthquakes. For the foreshock, coseismic offsets of up to 10 cm are resolvable on one station closest to the fault, but did not trigger automatic offset detection. For the mainshock, GNSS monitoring determined its coseismic deformation of up to 70 cm on nine nearby stations within 25 s of event nucleation. These 25 s comprise the fault rupture duration itself (roughly 10 s of peak moment release), another 10 s for seismic waves and displacement to propagate to nearby GNSS stations, and a few additional seconds for surface waves and other crustal reverberations to dissipate sufficiently such that coseismic offset estimation filters could reconverge. Latency between data acquisition in the Mojave Desert and positioning in Washington State averaged 1.4 s, a small fraction of the fault rupture time itself. GNSS position waveforms for the two closest stations that show the largest dynamic and static displacements agree well with postprocessed time series. Mainshock coseismic ground deformation estimated within 25 s of origin time also agrees well with, but is ∼10% smaller than, deformation estimated using 48 hr observation windows, which may reflect rapid postseismic fault creep or the cumulative effect of nearly 1000 aftershocks in the 48 hr following the mainshock. GNSS position waveform shapes, which comprise a superposition of dynamic and static displacements, are well modeled by frequency–wavenumber synthetics for the Hadley–Kanamori 1D crustal structure model and the U.S. Geological Survey finite‐rupture distribution and timing. These results show that GNSS seismic monitoring performed as designed and offers a new means of rapidly characterizing large earthquakes globally.


This article was originally published in Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America


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