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Earth Surface & Interior

We will model California's earthquake fault system interactions to understand how earthquake faults interact, how stress is transferred between faults, and how an earthquake on one fault will delay or advance the likelihood of an earthquake on other faults. We will integrate QuakeSim's Virtual California and GeoFEST boundary and finite element models. Virtual California models interactions between vertical strike-slip faults. GeoFEST is finite element software that computes the stress and strain field from arbitrary faults. An efficient way to model interactions between faults of any geometry is to use GeoFEST to calculate the stresses for any given fault slip and Virtual California to determine when faults fail in the simulation. Thus, we can fully model the California fault system, including thrust and normal faults. After coupling Virtual California and GeoFEST we will simulate and analyze numerous runs from the combined programs for the full fault system in California using the most current and best estimates of friction on each fault segment. The model runs will be compared to seismic, paleoseismic and crustal deformation data. We address NASA's Strategic Goal 3A, to Study Earth from space to advance scientific understanding and meet societal needs. A primary goal of QuakeSim is to integrate spaceborne data into models and simulations to understand how earthquake fault systems interact. This results in NASA Strategic sub-goal outcome 3A.6: Progress in characterizing and understanding Earth surface changes. Understanding how strain evolves and stress transfers between faults ultimately leads to better earthquake preparedness and mitigation of damage from this costly natural disaster. We specifically address objective 4 of this call, which is Prediction: How can knowledge of the Earth's surface change be used to predict and mitigate natural hazards? This work will also advance the modeling infrastructure for assimilating data from NASA's decadal survey recommended DESDynI mission.

Project PI: Andrea Donnellan/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Jet Propulsion Laboratory M/S 183-335 4800 Oak Grove Drive Pasadena, CA 91109

Email: Andrea.Donnellan@jpl.nasa.gov

http://science.jpl.nasa.gov/people/Donnellan/

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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 10, 2010

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