Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Spatial variation of crustal coda Q in California

January 1, 1988

Coda wave data from California microearthquakes were studied in order to delineate regional fluctuations of apparent crustal attenuation in the band 1.5 to 24 Hz. Apparent attenuation was estimated using a single back scattering model of coda waves. The coda wave data were restricted to ???30 s following the origin time; this insures that crustal effects dominate the results as the backscattered shear waves thought to form the coda would not have had time to penetrate much deeper. Results indicate a strong variation in apparent crustal attenuation at high frequencies between the Franciscan and Salinian regions of central California and the Long Valley area of the Sierra Nevada. Although the coda Q measurements coincide at 1.5 Hz (Qc=100), at 24 Hz there is a factor of four difference between the measurements made in Franciscan (Qc=525) and Long Valley (Qc=2100) with the Salinian midway between (Qc=900). These are extremely large variations compared to measures of seismic velocities of comparable resolution, demonstrating the exceptional sensitivity of the high frequency coda Q measurement to regional geology. In addition, the frequency trend of the results is opposite to that seen in a compilation of coda Q measurements made worldwide by other authors which tend to converge at high and diverge at low frequencies, however, the worldwide results generally were obtained without limiting the coda lengths and probably reflect upper mantle rather than crustal properties. Our results match those expected due to scattering in random media represented by Von Karman autocorrelation functions of orders 1/2 to 1/3. The Von Karman medium of order 1/3 corresponding to the Franciscan coda Q measurement contains greater amounts of high wavenumber fluctuations. This indicates relatively large medium fluctuations with wavelengths on the order of 100 m in the highly deformed crust associated with the Franciscan, however, the influence of scattering on the coda Q measurement is currently a matter of controversy. 

Citation Information

Publication Year 1988
Title Spatial variation of crustal coda Q in California
DOI 10.1007/BF01772599
Authors W.S. Philips, W.H.K. Lee, J.T. Newberry
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Pure and Applied Geophysics PAGEOPH
Series Number
Index ID 70013788
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization