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Estimating rupture scenario likelihood based on dynamic rupture simulations: The example of the segmented Middle Durance fault, southeastern France

Aochi, H.(a b) , Cushing, M.(a) , Scotti, O.(a) , Berge-Thierry, C.(a)
Geophysical Journal International
Volume 165, Issue 2, May 2006, Pages 436-446

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords > earthquakes, rift/fault


Authors > BERGE-THIERRY Catherine, CUSHING Edward, SCOTTI Oona

Publication Date > 10/02/2006


Nuclear waste confinement systems in shales depend, among other factors, on their The Middle Durance fault system, southeastern France, is a slow active fault that produced moderate-size historical seismic events and shows evidence of at least one Mω ≳ 6.5 event in the last 29 000 yr. Based on dynamic rupture simulation, we propose earthquake scenarios that are constrained by knowledge of both the tectonic stress field and of the 3-D geometry of theDurance fault system. We simulate dynamic rupture interaction among several fault segmentations of different strikes, dips and rakes, using a 3-D boundary integral equation method. 50 combinations of reasonable stress field orientations, stress field amplitudes and hypocentre locations are tested. The probability of different rupture evolutions is then computed. Each segment ruptures mainly as a single event (44 per cent of the 50 simulations test in this paper). However, the probability that an event triggers simultaneously along three segments is high (26 per cent), leading to a potential rupture length of 45 km. Finally, 2 per cent of the simulations occur along four adjacent segments, producing the greatest total rupture length of 55 km. The simulation results show that the southernmost segment is most easily ruptured (40 per cent), because of its favourable orientation with respect to the tectonic stress and of its favourable location for interaction with the other segments. South-bound unilateral propagation is slightly preferable (41 per cent), compared to north-bound unilateral and bilateral propagation modes. Although, these rupture scenarios cannot be directly translated into probabilities of occurrence, they do provide a better insight as to which rupture scenarios are more likely, an important element to better estimate near-field strong ground motion and seismic hazard.

a- Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, IRSN/DEI/SARG/BERSSIN, BP17, 92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex, France
b- Development Planning and Natural Risks Division, BRGM, 3 avenue Claude Guillemin, 45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France


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