Seismic velocity model development and ground motion simulation of New Zealand earthquakes.
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This dissertation addresses a diverse range of topics in the physics-based broadband ground motion simulation, with a focus on New Zealand applications. In particular the following topics are addressed: the methodology and computational implementation of a New Zealand Velocity Model for broadband ground motion simulation; generalised parametric functions and spatial correlations for seismic velocities in the Canterbury, New Zealand region from surface-wave-based site characterisation; and ground motion simulations of Hope Fault earthquakes. The paragraphs below outline each contribution in more detail.
A necessary component in physics-based ground motion simulation is a 3D model which details the seismic velocities in the region of interest. Here a velocity model construction methodology, its computational implementation, and application in the construction of a New Zealand velocity model for use in physics-based broadband ground motion simulation are presented. The methodology utilises multiple datasets spanning different length scales, which is enabled via the use of modular sub-regions, geologic surfaces, and parametric representations of crustal velocity. A number of efficiency-related workflows to decrease the overall computational construction time are employed, while maintaining the flexibility and extensibility to incorporate additional datasets and re- fined velocity parameterizations as they become available. The model comprises explicit representations of the Canterbury, Wellington, Nelson-Tasman, Kaikoura, Marlborough, Waiau, Hanmer and Cheviot sedimentary basins embedded within a regional travel-time tomography-based velocity model for the shallow crust and provides the means to conduct ground motion simulations throughout New Zealand for the first time.
Recently developed deep shear-wave velocity profiles in Canterbury enabled models that better characterise the velocity structure within geologic layers of the Canterbury sedimentary basin to be developed. Here the development of depth- and Vs30-dependent para-metric velocity and spatial correlation models to characterise shear-wave velocities within the geologic layers of the Canterbury sedimentary basin are presented. The models utilise data from 22 shear-wave velocity profiles of up to 2.5km depth (derived from surface wave analysis) juxtaposed with models which detail the three-dimensional structure of the geologic formations in the Canterbury sedimentary basin. Parametric velocity equations are presented for Fine Grained Sediments, Gravels, and Tertiary layer groupings. Spatial correlations were developed and applied to generate three-dimensional stochastic velocity perturbations. Collectively, these models enable seismic velocities to be realistically represented for applications such as 3D ground motion and site response simulations.
Lastly the New Zealand velocity model is applied to simulate ground motions for a Mw7.51 rupture of the Hope Fault using a physics-based simulation methodology and a 3D crustal velocity model of New Zealand. The simulation methodology was validated for use in the region through comparison with observations for a suite of historic small magnitude earthquakes located proximal to the Hope Fault. Simulations are compared with conventionally utilised empirical ground motion models, with simulated peak ground velocities being notably higher in regions with modelled sedimentary basins. A sensitivity analysis was undertaken where the source characteristics of magnitude, stress parameter, hypocentre location and kinematic slip distribution were varied and an analysis of their effect on ground motion intensities is presented. It was found that the magnitude and stress parameter strongly influenced long and short period ground motion amplitudes, respectively. Ground motion intensities for the Hope Fault scenario are compared with the 2016 Kaikoura Mw7.8 earthquake, it was found that the Kaikoura earthquake produced stronger motions along the eastern South Island, while the Hope Fault scenario resulted in stronger motions immediately West of the near-fault region. The simulated ground motions for this scenario complement prior empirically-based estimates and are informative for mitigation and emergency planning purposes.