Accurate determination of phase arrival times using autoregressive likelihood estimation

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G. Kvaerna


We have investigated the potential automatic use of an onset picker based on autoregressive likelihood estimation. Both a single component version and a three component version of this method have been tested on data from events located in the Khibiny Massif of the Kola peninsula, recorded at the Apatity array, the Apatity three component station and the ARCESS array. Using this method, we have been able to estimate onset times to an accuracy (standard deviation) of about 0.05 s for P-phases and 0.15 0.20 s for S phases. These accuracies are as good as for analyst picks, and are considerably better than the accuracies of the current onset procedure used for processing of regional array data at NORSAR. In another application, we have developed a generic procedure to reestimate the onsets of all types of first arriving P phases. By again applying the autoregressive likelihood technique, we have obtained automatic onset times of a quality such that 70% of the automatic picks are within 0.1 s of the best manual pick. For the onset time procedure currently used at NORSAR, the corresponding number is 28%. Clearly, automatic reestimation of first arriving P onsets using the autoregressive likelihood technique has the potential of significantly reducing the retiming efforts of the analyst.

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Kvaerna G. Accurate determination of phase arrival times using autoregressive likelihood estimation. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 1994Nov.25 [cited 2022Aug.14];37(3). Available from: