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Tectonics Observatory

Source Models of Large Earthquakes

The TO team is developing numerical models to estimate the location and amount of slip on an earthquake fault. We analyse all large earthquakes, as well smaller ones that occur in areas of special interest to the TO.

Click on an earthquake to see its magnitude and slip map - or see table below.

  • Preliminary Seismological Model: With real-time access to global seismological network data (teleseismic records), we are able to generate slip maps of a fault within a couple of days of an earthquake. Such rapidly generated results are labeled "Preliminary Seismological Model." (See more details on our methodology)

  • Updated Model: In the days and months following an earthquake, when additional measurements have become available, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), ground deformation measurements using radar and optical images, and Accelerogram data, we combine these new data with the teleseismic records to generate more refined slip maps, which are labeled "Updated Model."

  • Back Projection: We image the rupture propagation of an earthquake by back-projection of the seismic waveforms that are recorded by large arrays at teleseismic distance. This source imaging technique allows us to track the location and migration of the multiple sources of high-frequency radiation that compose an earthquake rupture front.

Contact email: to-source-models (at)
Event Date Name/Location Preliminary
2014 01 April (Mw=8.1) North Iquique, Chile x    
2013 24 Sept. (Mw=7.7) Balochistan, Pakistan   x  
2013 16 Apr. (Mw=7.8) Khash, Iran x    
2012 28 Oct. (Mw=7.8) Masset,Canada x    
2012 11 Apr (Mw=8.6) Sumatra x   x
2012 20 Mar (Mw=7.4) Oaxaca, Mexico x    
2011 11 Mar (Mw=9.0) Tohoku-Oki, Japan x #1  #2 x
2010 04 Apr (Mw=7.2) El Mayor-Cucapah, Mexico   x  
  27 Feb (Mw=8.8) Maule, Chile x    
  12 Jan (Mw=7.0) Haiti x x x
2009 7 Oct (Mw=7.6) Vanuatu Islands x    
  30 Sep (Mw=7.6) Padang, Indonesia x    
2008 16 Nov (Mw=7.3) Sulawesi, Indonesia x    
  12 May (Mw=7.9) East Sichuan, China x x  
  20 Feb (Mw=7.4) Simeulue, Indonesia x    
2007 14 Nov (Mw=7.7) Tocopilla, Chile x    
  12 Sep (Mw=7.9) Pagai island, Indonesia x x  
  12 Sep (Mw=8.4) Benkulu, Indonesia x x  
  15 Aug (Mw=8.0) Pisco, Peru x x  
  13 Jan (Mw=8.1) Kuril Islands x    
2006 15 Dec (Mw=8.3) Kuril islands x    
  08 Oct (Mw=7.9) Southern Java, Indonesia x    
2005 12 Dec (Mw=7.6) Kashmir, Pakistan x x  
  15 Jun (Mw=7.2) Northern California x    
  13 Jun (Mw 7.8) Tarapaca, Chile x    
  28 Mar (Mw=8.5) Sumatra, Indonesia #1  #2 x  
2004 26 Dec (Mw=9.15) Sumatra-Andaman, Indonesia   #1  
  15 Nov (Mw=7.1) Near W Coast of Colombia x    
  11 Nov (Mw=7.4) Kep Ulauan Alor, Indonesia x    
  28 Sep (Mw=5.9) Parkfield, CA x x  
  05 Sep (Mw=7.1) Near S. Coast of Western Houshu, Japan x    
  07 Feb (Mw=7.3) Irian Jaya, Indonesia x    
2003 04 Aug (Mw=7.5) Scotia Island x    
  15 Jul (Mw=7.6) Carlsberg Ridge x    
2001 26 Jan (Mw=7.6) Bhuj, India   x  

Publications Methodology for Seismological Analysis COSI-Corr

Related Links:

Acknowledgments: This project is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Tectonics Observatory, National Earthquake Information Center of USGS, and by Caltech's Seismological Laboratory.

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Last updated: June 21, 2012 :: Contact Us