Coseismic ground displacements detected through remote sensing surveys are often used to invert the coseismic slip distribution on geologically reliable fault planes. We analyze a well-known case study (2009 L’Aquila earthquake) to investigate how three-dimensional (3D) slip configuration affects coseismic ground surface deformation. Different coseismic slip surface configurations reconstructed using aftershocks distribution and coseismic cracks, were tested using 3D boundary element method numerical models. The models include two with slip patches that reach the surface and three models of blind normal-slip surfaces with different configurations of slip along shallowly-dipping secondary faults. We test the sensitivity of surface deformation to variations in stress drop and rock stiffness. We compare numerical models’ results with line of sight (LOS) surface deformation detected from differential SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar
) interferometry (DInSAR). The variations in fault configuration, rock stiffness and stress drop associated with the earthquake considerably impact the pattern of surface subsidence. In particular, the models with a coseismic slip patch that does not reach the surface have a better match to the line of sight coseismic surface deformation, as well as better match to the aftershock pattern, than models with rupture that reaches the surface. The coseismic slip along shallowly dipping secondary faults seems to provide a minor contribution toward surface deformation.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited