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The 1933 Long Beach Earthquake (California, USA): Ground motions and rupture scenario

June 22, 2020

We present a synoptic analysis of the ground motions from the 11 March 1933 Mw 6.4 Long Beach, California, earthquake, the largest known earthquake within the central Los Angeles Basin region. Our inferred shaking intensity pattern supports the association of the earthquake with the Newport-Inglewood fault; it further illuminates the concentration of severe damage in the town of Compton, where accounts suggest vertical ground motions exceeding 1 g. We use a broadband simulation approach to develop a rupture scenario for this earthquake, informed by the damage distribution. The predicted shaking for a 25-km-long fault matches the intensity distribution, with an indication that non-linear site response on soft sediments in some near-field regions was stronger than predicted using a simple model to account for non-linearity. Our results suggest that the concentration of damage near Compton can be explained by a combination of local site amplification, source-controlled directivity, and three-dimensional basin effects whereby energy was channeled towards the deepest part of the Los Angeles Basin.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title The 1933 Long Beach Earthquake (California, USA): Ground motions and rupture scenario
DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-66299-w
Authors Susan E. Hough, Robert Graves
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Scientific Reports
Index ID 70223191
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center