Shallow crustal imaging using distant, high-magnitude earthquakes

J van IJsseldijk, EN Ruigrok, A Verdel, C Weemstra

Global phases, viz. seismic phases that travel through the Earth’s core, can be used to locally image the crust by means of seismic interferometry. This method is known as Global Phase Seismic Interferometry (GloPSI). Traditionally, GloPSI retrieves low-frequency information (up to 1 Hz). Recent studies, however, suggest that there is high-frequency signal present in the coda of strong, distant earthquakes. This research quantifies the potential of these high-frequency signals, by analysing recordings of a multitude of high-magnitude earthquakes (≥6.4 Mw ) and their coda on a selection of permanent USArray stations. Nearly half of the P, PKP and PKIKP phases are recorded with a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 5 dB at 3 Hz. To assess the viability of using the high-frequency signal, the second half of the paper highlights two case studies. First, a known sedimentary structure is imaged in Malargüe, Argentina. Secondly, the method is used to reveal the structure of the Midcontinent Rift below the SPREE array in Minnesota, USA. Both studies demonstrate that structural information of the shallow crust (≤5 km) below the arrays can be retrieved. In particular, the interpreted thickness of the sedimentary layer below the Malargüe array is in agreement with earlier studies in the same area. Being able to use global phases and direct P-phases with large epicentral distances (>80 ◦ ) to recover the Earth’s sedimentary structure suggests that GloPSI can be applied in an industrial context.

Bibliographic data

J van IJsseldijk, EN Ruigrok, A Verdel, C Weemstra. Shallow crustal imaging using distant, high-magnitude earthquakes
Status: published, Journal: Geophys. J. Int., Volume: 219, Year: 2019, First page: 1082, Last page: 1091, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggz343