Source mechanisms and near-source wave propagation from broadband seismograms

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J. Virieux
A. Deschamps
J. Perrot
J. Campos


Recording seismic events at teleseismic distances with broadband and high dynamic range instruments provides new high-quality data that allow us to interpret in more detail the complexity of seismic rupture as well as the heterogeneous structure of the medium surrounding the source where waves are initially propagating. Wave propagation analysis is performed by ray tracing in a local cartesian coordinate system near the source and in a global spherical coordinate system when waves enter the mantle. Seismograms are constructed at each station for a propagation in a 2.5-D medium. Many phases can be included and separately analyzed; this is one of the major advantages of ray tracing compared to other wave propagation techniques. We have studied four earthquakes, the 1988 Spitak Armenia Earthquake (Ms = 6.9), the 1990 Iran earthquake (Ms = 7.7), the 1990 romanian earthquake (Ms = 5.8) and the 1992 Erzincan, Turkey earthquake (Ms = 6.8). These earthquakes exhibit in different ways the complexity of the rupture and the signature of the medium surrounding the source. The use of velocity seismograms, the time derivative of displacement, increases the difficulty of the fit between synthetic seismograms and real seismograms but provides clear evidence for a need of careful time delay estimations of the different converted phases. We find that understanding of the seismic rupture as well as the influence of the medium surrounding the source for teleseismically recorded earthquakes requires a multi-stop procedure: starting with ground displacement seismograms, one is able to give a first description of the rupture as well as of the first-order influence of the medium. Then, considering the ground velocity seismograms makes the fit more difficult to obtain but increases our sensitivity to the rupture process and early converted phases. With increasing number of worldwide broadband stations, a complex rupture description is possible independently of field observations, which can be used to check the adequacy of such complicated models.

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Virieux, J., Deschamps, A., Perrot, J. and Campos, J. (1994) “Source mechanisms and near-source wave propagation from broadband seismograms”, Annals of Geophysics, 37(6). doi: 10.4401/ag-4154.

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