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Source mechanism analysis of central Aceh earthquake July 2, 2013 Mw 6.

2 using
moment tensor inversion with BMKG waveform data
Retno Agung Prasetyo, Nova Heryandoko, and Afnimar

Citation: AIP Conference Proceedings 1658, 030020 (2015); doi: 10.1063/1.4915028

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Source Mechanism Analysis of Central Aceh Earthquake
July 2, 2013 Mw 6.2 Using Moment Tensor Inversion with
BMKG Waveform Data
Retno Agung Prasetyo1,a), Nova Heryandoko2, Afnimar3
BMKG Balai Wilayah I, Jl. Ngumban Surbakti 15 Medan 20131, Indonesia
BMKG, Jl.Angkasa 2 Kemayoran Jakarta, Indonesia
FTTM ITB Basic Science B 4th Floor Jl.Ganesha 10. Bandung – 40132, Indonesia

Abstract. The source mechanism of earthquake on July 2, 2013 was investigated by using moment tensor inversion. The
result also compared by the field observation. Five waveform data of BMKG’s seismic network used to estimate the
mechanism of earthquake, namely ; KCSI, MLSI, LASI, TPTI and SNSI. Main shock data taken during 200 seconds and
filtered by using Butterworth band pass method from 0.03 to 0.05 Hz of frequency. Moment tensor inversion method is
applied based on the point source assumption. Furthermore, the Green function calculated using the extended reflectivity
method which modified by Kohketsu. The inversion result showed a strike-slip faulting, where the nodal plane
strike/dip/rake (124/80.6/152.8) and minimum variance value 0.3285 at a depth of 6 km (centroid). It categorized as a
shallow earthquake. Field observation indicated that the building orientated to the east. It can be related to the southwest
of dip direction which has 152 degrees of slip. As conclusion, the Pressure (P) and Tension (T) axis described dominant
compression is happen from the south which is caused by pressure of the Indo-Australian plate.
Keywords: Strike Slip Faulting, Shallow Earthquake, Indo-Australia Plate Pressure;
PACS: 91.30.P-

Strong and damaging earthquakes occur in the middle region of Aceh province on July 2, 2013 with Mw 6.2.
Indonesian Agency of Meteorological Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) release Aceh earthquake occurred at
14:37:03 pm origin time, epicenter position 4.70N-96.61E, and 10 km hypocenter depth. This earthquake originated
on land and felt for some cities: Medan, Banda Aceh, Langsa (III MMI), Takengon and Benermeriah (VII MMI).
The impact of this earthquake is severe damage to the building in a location that is closest to the source of Ketol
subdistrict in Central Aceh district and other subdistrict in the Benermeriah District. Another effect is the
destruction of buildings, roads cracked, and causing landslides in rural districts Serempah Ketol. Agency of
National Disaster Management (BNPB) Indonesia reported the impact of Central Aceh Earthquake Mw 6.2 were 40
people died, the damage reached 15.919 units of houses, and 623 units building public facilities were damaged.
Study about the mechanism of earthquakes in central Aceh Mw 6.2 until now there has been a lot in
themeticulous, some previous studies reporting the earthquake source mechanism as the initial information in the
form of two nodal fault areas e.g. USGS, GCMT and EMSC. It is expected that through this research can answer
the problem in determine the cause of the fault areas Mw 6.2 earthquake in central Aceh.
The aims of this study are to determine moment tensor solutions and analyze the earthquake mechanism of
Central Aceh July 2, 2013 Mw 6.2. This study is limited to the study of earthquake source mechanism by assuming
a point source and near field approach. We combine the analysis of the source mechanism and seismic macro data
support in the field.

4th International Symposium on Earthquake and Disaster Mitigation 2014 (ISEDM 2014)
AIP Conf. Proc. 1658, 030020-1–030020-9; doi: 10.1063/1.4915028
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Sumatra is located at the boundary of two tectonic plates. The ocean floor southwest of Sumatra is part of the
Indian/Australian plate, while Sumatra and the other islands of Indonesia are part of the Eurasian plate (see Figure
1). Tectonic of Sumatera generally controlled by two systems, first is subduction system or convergence between
Indo-Australia plate and Eurasia plate in western part of Sumatera Island. The plate convergence rate is ∼60 mmyr-
1 and orthogonal to the subduction front near Java, which reduces to 52 mmyr-1 in the Northern Sumatra with an
obliquity of about 40 and becomes dominantly trans-current north of Nicobar Island and some convergence [1].
Second is the strike slip fault in mainland Sumatera and related structures (e.g. Batee and Mentawai) known as
Sumatera fault system The convergence margin at Sumatera is often used as an example of partitioning of oblique
plate convergence into thrust and strike slip motions [1].The seismic activity and the linear shape of the seem to
accommodate a significant part of the dextral motion [2,3].
Sumatra Fault length ~ 1900 km across the ridge of Sumatra Island from Aceh to south of Sunda strait4.Based
on measurements of the fault slip rate Sumatra including active fault slip rate variations due to having 10-27 mm /
year 5. Another study showed the slip rate measurements in northern Sumatra using GPS measurements around the
equator by 23 mm / year and 26 mm / year at 2.7o LU [1]. Sumatran Fault has a different character to other shear
fault because many segmented [4]. Furthermore, Sumatra Fault can be divided into 20 major segments 19 segments
on the ground backbone of Sumatra [4].
GPS study of tectonic seismicity in the northern part of the Sumatran fault is also performed by Ito, (2012)
that use the GPS network system known as AGNeSS, interesting result from their study is the estimation of the
depth of the locked and the deficit of slip rate of 14.8 ± 3.4 km and 1.6 ± 0.6 cm / year. This result suggests that the
accumulated seismic moment in 170 years corresponds to an earthquake of magnitude 7 [6].

FIGURE 1. Regional Tectonic setting of Sumatera[4]


According to historical data of earthquakes that occurred in the mainland region of Aceh province, it appears
that the damage caused by the earthquake due to the Sumatran fault is large enough and the damage never occurred
on August 20, 1997 (M 6) led to hundreds of homes were damaged in Aceh [7].

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Based on the global CMT data in the Sumatra region particularly northern part of the Sumatran fault show rare
earthquake event. The mechanism of the earthquake that caused some form of strike-slip Sumatra fault can be seen
in Figure 2.

FIGURE 2.Plot the data from the years1973-2013 from GlobalCMT, the study area is located in the black area.


The data used is the seismic wave form of local seismic station in Indonesia (IA-Network). We used five BMKG
seismic stations located in Aceh namely KCSI, MLSI, TPTI, SNSI, LASI. We use the velocity structure as in the
Table 1. Central Aceh earthquake hypocenter data dated July 2, 2013 as an initial model is obtained from the
analysis Seiscomp3 BMKG. Map of earthquake epicenters and stations used distribution plotted using GMT
software (Wessel and Smith, 1995) and calculation of P and T axes using MatLab. Our study area is in the vicinity
of Aceh Earthquake July 2, 2013.

TABLE 1.Velocity structure used in accordance Jeffrey-Bullen

Vp (km/s) Vs (km/s) Rho (g cm-3) Thickness (km) Qp Qs

5,57 3,36 2,65 15 250 150
6,50 3,74 2,87 18 400 200
8,10 4,68 3,30 (>18) 650 280

Data recording seismic waves (waveform) is processed using the Seismic Analysis Code (SAC). The data
processing include: 1. The process of removing the instrument response. 2. The process of picking the P wave and
windowing 200 seconds (5 seconds before P). 3. Bandpass filtering process using a Butterworth filter with a corner
frequency of 0,03 and 0,05 Hz corresponding recommended value from Hayskov, (2010). Green's function
calculation to create a synthetic signal is done using the method of "Extended reflectivity" [9]. Inversion process is
done by fitting the synthetic signal and observation using Generalized Least Square Inversion. To obtain the optimal
position of the centroid of the next earthquake inversion process is done by giving a depth of trial and error (trial
depth) between 0,5 - 20 km with a range of 0,5 km. Inversion results and maps are plotted using the Generic
Mapping Tool [10].

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FIGURE 3. Waveform observations (velocity) of mainshock Mw 6,2 Aceh Earthquake used in the inversion process.


Preliminary results show the fitting between the synthetic signal with the signal observation has a variant of
0,38. Output signals both the synthetic signal and observations in displacement form. Determination of optimal
earthquake centroid position using trial depth techniques between 0.5-30 km depth 0.5 km intervals produces the
minimum variance of 12:32 at a depth of 6 km can be seen in Figure 5. Based on depth of Central Aceh earthquake
Mw. 6,2 can be classified as shallow earthquake. When compared between the centroid depths of the USGS with
the results of this study more in depth the USGS centroid until almost double that at a depth of 10 km. This is
possible due to the use of different layers velocity model in the calculation process. Velocity layer model used in
this study using the model of Jeffrey-Bullen and is divided into 3 layers at a depth of 6 km, 18 km and more than 18
miles is done [10,11].

Central Aceh EQ

Time (sec)

FIGURE 4. Preliminary result of inversion.

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Depth (Km)

FIGURE 5.Graph variants with depth, variant (y-axis) and depth (x-axis).

Moment tensor inversion results in this study of two nodal areas, namely the field I in the strike / dip / slip =
124/80, 6/152, 8 and field II with strike / dip / slip = 218.8 / 63.1 / 10 , 5. To determine the primary fault plane then
performed an analysis of the distribution of aftershocks, with the assumption that the distribution of aftershocks
may indicate a fault in the field of major earthquakes [12]. Plotting the data distribution aftershocks in Figure 8
indicates a Northwest-Southeast trending Lineation parallel to the Sumatran fault and fault located east of Sumatra.

FIGURE 6.The results of the moment tensor inversion centroid depth.

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Determination of the mechanism of major earthquakes in Central Aceh July 2, 2013 Mw 6.2 using moment
tensor inversion method show the type of strike-slip mechanism (dextral) and the preferred main fault plane is the
first plane to strike the direction 124 . This is consistent with the mechanism of the Sumatra fault. Interpretation of
the direction of the axis of P and T results in the moment tensor inversion projected to the horizontal plane indicates
the direction of the dominant compression South and of the North, while the direction of the pull toward the West
and the East (Figure 8). Compression of the dominant South made possible as a result of the influence of the Indo
Australian plate pressure. According to Tingay,, the present day maximum horizontal stress is oriented
primarily NE–SW in Sumatra.
Based on Figure 8, we suspect that the fault is indicated by the distribution of aftershocks trending northwest-
southeast is the source of a major earthquake thus building on the east epicentre tilted toward the east-southeast
impact slip vector in the footwall moves relative to the east-southeast towards the hanging wall. In the area to the
west-southwest of the fault then it moves to the northwest and the area to the east-northeast fault otherwise. This
appropriate with the results of the analysis of focal mechanisms of earthquake moment tensor inversion. Pressure
component of the global CMT history data also showed that the pressure in the study area is from the North and
South can be seen in Figure 7.
Observations in the field indicate that the area suffered severe damage is in the east of the epicentre location
precisely in the District Ketol Central Aceh district. Direct observation carried out on the three villages in the
district Blangmancung Ketol the Village, the Village and Village Serempah Bah. Based on field observations in the
direction of the slope of the main building due to earthquake shows a large part of the building in the district area
Ketol East slanted towards the East until the angle between 40-60 degrees. Landslide in the village of Serempah
shows slope and landslide material to the East to Southeast with dip angles up to 70 degrees. Macro data field
observations prove that the level of damage to buildings in the area in a radius of ± 20 km from the source. Local
geomorphology show District Ketol located in the hills and valleys and located near Mount Burning Telong.
Geological conditions affect the level of shock as a result of this earthquake as a thick sedimentary layer structure
alluvial deposit in the valley is very dominant in most areas of the District Ketol.
From the analysis of the slope and building the field observations indicate the tilt of the building towards the
East to Southeast may be associated with strike-slip mechanism with dip direction 80.6 degrees (to the southwest)
with the direction of the kick (slip) 152 degrees on the fault plane I and slope towards the East to Southeast.
Patterns of Central Aceh earthquake source mechanisms July 2, 2013 Mw 6.2 proves that strike slip mechanism
appropriate form on the field I (strike / dip / slip = 124/80, 6/152, 8) and supported the fact that the building and
avalanche slope eastward to Southeast.

(a) (b)

FIGURE 7. (a) Plotting the results of the study (blue) and global data CMT; (b) The components of the pressure (Pressure)
Study results (blue) and global CMT (black)

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(a) (b)

FIGURE 8. (a) Map of the distribution of aftershocks and plotting the direction of Pressure and Tension projected horizontal;
(b) Direction of fault mechanisms in the field of fault dextral Northwest-Southeast direction


FIGURE 9. Pictures of building damage due to earthquakes in Central Aceh July 2, 2013 Mw 6.2 at the location of the village
Blangmancung district. Ketol Kab. Central Aceh.

FIGURE 10.Highway cracks(a) between the Village Blangmancung and Bah (North-facing camera), (b) between the villages
Serempah and Bah (South-facing camera).

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FIGURE 11.Serempahlandslidein the village ofthe district.Ketol(a) North-facing camera, (b) East-facing camera


Based on the results and discussion, it can be concluded that the mechanism of earthquakes in Central Aceh July
2, 2013 Mw 6.2 is Strike-Slip (dextral) with the parameter field of the fault is a strike/dip/slip=124/80, 6/152,8.
Compression direction of the dominant south as possible as a result of the influence of the Indo Australian plate
pressure. In the area to the west-southwest of the fault then it moves to the north west and the area to the east-
northeast fault other wise so that the slope of the building and avalanches East to strike slip mechanism associated
with the dip direction of 80.6 degrees (to the southwest) with the direction of the kick (slip) fault 152 degrees on the
field I and slope towards the East to Southeast.


We are grateful to BMKG for providing the primary data in this study and Y.Yagi for the inversion program code.

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