Rupture characteristics of the 1982 Tonga and 1986 Kermadec earthquakes

P. R. Lundgren, E. A. Okal, D. A. Wiens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Source time functions are obtained for the December 19, 1982, Tonga and October 20, 1986, Kermadec earthquakes from deconvolution of P waves, using a model including a significant dip of the ocean bottom. In such a geometry, the amplitudes of subsequent water multiples are large and irregular. As a result, we can model these two events as consisting of a single pulse of short duration (23 s in the case of the 1982 event, and 19 s for the 1986 one), despite complex teleseismic waveshapes. This is in contrast to inversions using flat-layered models, which required very complex source time functions, which were mutually inconsistent at different stations. The anomalously large tsunami generated by the 1982 event is modeled as the result of propagation of the rupture into the sedimentary wedge at the trench, rather than due to a long-lived complex source time function, the latter being also incompatible with the total lack of excitation of the Earth's normal modes in the low-frequency limit. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15,521-15,539
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB11
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Rupture characteristics of the 1982 Tonga and 1986 Kermadec earthquakes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this