S/P amplitude ratios derived from single-component seismograms and their potential use in constraining focal mechanisms for micro-earthquake sequences
Focal mechanisms, which reflect the sense of slip in earthquakes, provide important constraints for understanding crustal tectonics and earthquake source physics, including the interactions among earthquakes during mainshock–aftershock sequences or seismic swarms. Focal mechanisms of small (magnitude ≲3.5) earthquakes are usually determined by first‐motion P‐wave polarities, sometimes supplemented by the ratio of S‐wave to P‐wave amplitudes (S/P). However, focal mechanisms of such events can be difficult to reliably constrain, particularly with sparse recording networks or very small magnitude events. Here, we describe a method for deriving S/P amplitude ratios from P/P and S/S amplitude ratios measured on single seismic components between pairs of nearby events, as is often performed during correlation‐based earthquake detection and relocation. These measurements can be transformed into relative S/P amplitude ratios, or they can be combined with a smaller number of traditional S/P amplitude ratios to provide a single‐channel estimation of full S/P ratios, even for low signal‐to‐noise‐ratio events not routinely cataloged and not amenable to traditional S/P ratio processing. This approach has the potential to greatly expand the applicability of S/P amplitude ratios, providing additional constraints for focal mechanisms of small earthquakes, particularly for spatially concentrated seismicity sequences.
|S/P amplitude ratios derived from single-component seismograms and their potential use in constraining focal mechanisms for micro-earthquake sequences
|David R. Shelly, Robert John Skoumal, Jeanne L. Hardebeck
|The Seismic Record
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Earthquake Science Center; Geologic Hazards Science Center