Development of earthquake correction models for GRACE and GRACE Follow-On gravity data time series

Shin Chan Han, Jeanne M Sauber , Taco Broerse, Riccardo Riva, Fred Pollitz , Emile Okal

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterScientific


The GRACE and GRACE Follow-On era is a rare opportunity from which we can study the Earth’s response to great earthquakes across diverse tectonic settings at time scales from days to decades. Earthquakes cause abrupt gravity field changes and triggered postseismic adjustment expected to continue for years to decades. There were a total ~20 great earthquakes (Mw≥8.0)during the GRACE era (2002-2017). GRACE data has detected regional-scale coseismic and postseismic gravity changes, including 2004 Mw9.2 Sumatra-Andaman, 2005 Mw8.5 Nias, 2006/2007 Mw8.3 Kuril, 2007 Mw8.5 Bengkulu, 2009 Mw8.1 Samoa-Tonga, 2010 Mw8.8 Maule, 2011 Mw9.0 Tohoku-Oki, 2012 Mw8.6 Indian Ocean (Wharton Basin), and 2013 Mw8.3 Okhotsk earthquakes. These events include shallow megathrust, strike-slip, normal faults ruptures as well as a deep (~600 km) source earthquake. The GRACE gravity data demonstrated the importance of compressibility in governing large-scale coseismic gravimetric change. For the largest of these events (Mw≥8.6), we were able to constrain the seismic source depth and long-wavelength slip distribution, bulk modulus, elastic lithosphere thickness, sea water redistribution, and the Earth’s rheological structure. Most of the 20 events with Mw≥8.0, during the GRACE era, exhibited a postseismic response best approximated by bi-viscous relaxation with range of asthenospheric viscosities including a lower range of 5x10^17–10^18 Pa s. In this presentation, we review these events using monthly time series of the entire GRACE geopotential change datasets from 2002 to 2017. Using the elastic and viscoelastic normal mode computations, we analyze the GRACE data to optimally constrain the earthquake source models and the regional rheology models using a self-consistent approach. We determine the coseismic and postseismic geopotential change models by inverting the GRACE L2 data for those events. Additionally, our modeling results will be provided to the GRACE Project and science community so that they can be used to remove the earthquake-related GRACE response to enable climate investigations that rely on GRACE data free of tectonic signals. Our comprehensive products can be used to improve quantification of secular trends of ocean, cryosphere, and hydrological mass transport from GRACE and GRACE Follow-On measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAGU Fall Meeting 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 9 Dec 201913 Dec 2019


ConferenceAGU Fall Meeting 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address


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