Data assimilation is a technique that optimizes the parameters used in a numerical model with a constraint of model dynamics achieving the better fit to observations. Optimized parameters can be utilized for the subsequent prediction with a numerical model and predicted physical variables are presumably closer to observations that will be available in the future, at least, comparing to those obtained without the optimization through data assimilation. In this work, an adjoint data assimilation system is developed for optimizing a relatively large number of spatially inhomogeneous frictional parameters during the afterslip period in which the physical constraints are a quasi-dynamic equation of motion and a laboratory derived rate and state dependent friction law that describe the temporal evolution of slip velocity at subduction zones. The observed variable is estimated slip velocity on the plate interface. Before applying this method to the real data assimilation for the afterslip of the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake, a synthetic data assimilation experiment is conducted to examine the feasibility of optimizing the frictional parameters in the afterslip area. It is confirmed that the current system is capable of optimizing the frictional parameters A-B, A and L by adopting the physical constraint based on a numerical model if observations capture the acceleration and decaying phases of slip on the plate interface. On the other hand, it is unlikely to constrain the frictional parameters in the region where the amplitude of afterslip is less than 1.0 cm d-1. Next, real data assimilation for the 2003 Tokachi-oki earthquake is conducted to incorporate slip velocity data inferred from time dependent inversion of Global Navigation Satellite System time-series. The optimized values of A-B, A and L are O(10 kPa), O(102 kPa) and O(10 mm), respectively. The optimized frictional parameters yield the better fit to the observations and the better prediction skill of slip velocity afterwards. Also, further experiment shows the importance of employing a fine-mesh model. It will contribute to the further understanding of the frictional properties on plate interfaces and lead to the forecasting system that provides useful information on the possibility of consequent earthquakes.
- Non-linear differential equations
- Seismic cycle
- Time-series analysis