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Regional propagation characteristics and source parameters of earthquakes in northeastern North America

February 1, 1994

The vertical components of the S wave trains recorded on the Eastern Canadian Telemetered Network (ECTN) from 1980 through 1990 have been spectrally analyzed for source, site, and propagation characteristics. The data set comprises some 1033 recordings of 97 earthquakes whose magnitudes range from M ≈ 3 to 6. The epicentral distances range from 15 to 1000 km, with most of the data set recorded at distances from 200 to 800 km. The recorded S wave trains contain the phases S, SmS, Sn, and Lg and are sampled using windows that increase with distance; the acceleration spectra were analyzed from 1.0 to 10 Hz. To separate the source, site, and propagation characteristics, an inversion for the earthquake corner frequencies, low-frequency levels, and average attenuation parameters is alternated with a regression of residuals onto the set of stations and a grid of 14 distances ranging from 25 to 1000 km. The iteration between these two parts of the inversion converges in about 60 steps. The average attenuation parameters obtained from the inversion were Q = 1997 ± 10 and γ = 0.998 ± 0.003. The most pronounced variation from this average attenuation is a marked deamplification of more than a factor of 2 at 63 km and 2 Hz, which shallows with increasing frequency and increasing distance out to 200 km. The site-response spectra obtained for the ECTN stations are generally flat. The source spectral shape assumed in this inversion provides an adequate spectral model for the smaller events (Mo < 3 × 1021 dyne-cm) in the data set, whose Brune stress drops range from 5 to 150 bars. For the five events in the data set with Mo ≧ 1023 dyne-cm, however, the source spectra obtained by regressing the residuals suggest that an ω2 spectrum is an inadequate model for the spectral shape. In particular, the corner frequencies for most of these large events appear to be split, so that the spectra exhibit an intermediate behavior (where |ü(ω)| is roughly proportional to ω).

Publication Year 1994
Title Regional propagation characteristics and source parameters of earthquakes in northeastern North America
DOI 10.1785/BSSA0840010001
Authors John Boatwright
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Index ID 70186257
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse