Rupture directivity of microearthquake sequences near Parkfield, California



[1] The direction of propagation is an important factor that affects the pattern of ground motion generated by an earthquake. Characterizing factors favoring a potential rupture propagation direction is thus an important task. Here we analyze the earthquake directivity of repeating earthquake sequences located on the San Andreas fault near Parkfield, California. All earthquakes of a sequence have very similar waveforms and have overlapping surface ruptures. We show that subtle variations of the transfer function between earthquakes of a common sequence can be interpreted as a change of apparent rupture duration. Relative apparent rupture durations are computed for all pairs of events at all available stations and for each sequence. We invert these measurements to obtain an estimation of the apparent rupture duration for each individual event of the sequence relative to a reference event. Variation of apparent rupture duration with azimuth attests for the rupture directivity. We show that the majority of analyzed microearthquakes presents a rupture in the south-east direction. We also show that, on a given repeating sequence, most earthquakes tend to show the same rupture direction.