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Data Analysis and Seismogram Interpretation

Data Analysis and Seismogram Interpretation

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Published by: othmansaeed on May 27, 2012
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Data Analysis and SeismogramInterpretation
Peter Bormann, Klaus Klinge and Siegfried Wendt
 This Chapter deals with seismogram analysis and extraction of seismic parameter values fordata exchange with national and international data centers, for use in research and last, but notleast, with writing bulletins and informing the public about seismic events. It is written fortraining purposes and for use as a reference source for seismologists at observatories. Itdescribes the basic requirements in analog and digital routine observatory practice i.e., to:
recognize the occurrence of an earthquake in a record;
identify and annotate the seismic phases;
determine onset time and polarity correctly;
measure the maximum ground amplitude and related period;
calculate slowness and azimuth;
determine source parameters such as the hypocenter, origin time, magnitude, sourcemechanism, etc..In modern digital observatory practice these procedures are implemented in computerprograms. Experience, a basic knowledge of elastic wave propagation (see Chapter 2), and theavailable software can guide a seismologist to analyze large amounts of data and interpretseismograms correctly. The aim of this Chapter is to introduce the basic knowledge, data,procedures and tools required for proper seismogram analysis and phase interpretation and topresent selected seismogram examples.Seismograms are the basic information about earthquakes, chemical and nuclear explosions,mining-induced earthquakes, rock bursts and other events generating seismic waves.Seismograms reflect the combined influence of the seismic source (see Chapter 3), thepropagation path (see Chapter 2), the frequency response of the recording instrument (see 4.2and 5.2), and the ambient noise at the recording site (e.g., Fig. 7.32). Fig. 11.1 summarizesthese effects and their scientific usefulness. Accordingly, our knowledge of seismicity, Earth'sstructure, and the various types of seismic sources is mainly the result of analysis andinterpretation of seismograms. The more completely we quantify and interpret theseismograms, the more fully we understand the Earth's structure, seismic sources and theunderlying causing processes.
Fig. 11.1
Different factors/sub-systems (without seismic noise) which influence a seismic record (yellow boxes)and the information that can be derived from record analysis (blue boxes).
Seismological data analysis for single stations is nowadays increasingly replaced by network (see Chapter 8) and array analysis (see Chapter 9). Array-processing techniques have beendeveloped for more than 20 years. Networks and arrays, in contrast to single stations, enablebetter signal detection and source location. Also, arrays can be used to estimate slowness andazimuth, which allow better phase identification. Further, more accurate magnitude values canbe expected by averaging single station magnitudes and for distant sources the signalcoherency can be used to determine onset times more reliably. Tab. 11.1 summarizes basiccharacteristics of single stations, station networks and arrays. In principle, an array can beused as a network and in special cases a network can be used as an array. The most importantdifferences between networks and arrays are in the degree of signal coherence and the dataanalysis techniques used.Like single stations, band-limited seismometer systems are now out-of-date and have alimited distribution and local importance only. Band-limited systems filter the groundmotion. They distort the signal and may shift the onset time and reverse polarity (see 4.2).Most seismological observatories, and especially regional networks, are now equipped withbroadband seismometers that are able to record signal frequencies between about 0.001 Hzand 50 Hz. The frequency and dynamic range covered by broadband recordings are shown inFig. 11.2 and in Fig. 7.48 of Chapter 7 in comparison with classical band-limited analogrecordings of the Worldwide Standard Seismograph Network (WWSSN).
Tab. 11.1
Short characteristic of single stations, station networks and arrays.
11.1 Introduction
Single station
Classical type of seismic station with its own data processing. Eventlocation only possible by means of three-component records.
Station network
Local, regional or global distribution of stations that are as identical aspossible with a common data center (see Chapter 8). Event location isone of the main tasks.
Seismic array
Cluster of seismic stations with a common time reference and uniforminstrumentation. The stations are located close enough to each other inspace for the signal waveforms to be correlated between adjacentsensors (see Chapter 9). Benefits are:
extraction of coherent signals from random noise;
determination of directional information of approachingwavefronts (determination of backazimuth of the source);
determination of local slowness and thus of epicentraldistance of the source.
Fig. 11.2
Frequency range of seismological interest.A number of these classical seismograph systems are still in operation at autonomous singlestations in many developing countries and in the former Soviet Union. Also, archives arefilled with analog recordings of these systems, which were collected over many decades.

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