(Oxford University Press, 2018-07-28)
Fan, Wenyuan; de Groot-Hedlin, Catherine D.; Hedlin, Michael A. H.; Ma, Zhitu
Surface waves recorded by global arrays have proven useful for locating tectonic earthquakes and in detecting slip events depleted in high frequency, such as glacial quakes. We develop a novel method using an aggregation of small- to continental-scale arrays to detect and locate seismic sources with Rayleigh waves at 20–50 s period. The proposed method is a hybrid approach including first dividing a large aperture aggregate array into Delaunay triangular subarrays for beamforming, and then using the resolved surface wave propagation directions and arrival times from the subarrays as data to formulate an inverse problem to locate the seismic sources and their origin times. The approach harnesses surface wave coherence and maximizes resolution of detections by combining measurements from stations spanning the whole U.S. continent. We tested the method with earthquakes, glacial quakes and landslides. The results show that the method can effectively resolve earthquakes as small as ∼M3 and exotic slip events in Greenland. We find that the resolution of the locations is non-uniform with respect to azimuth, and decays with increasing distance between the source and the array when no calibration events are available. The approach has a few advantages: the method is insensitive to seismic event type, it does not require a velocity model to locate seismic sources, and it is computationally efficient. The method can be adapted to real-time applications and can help in identifying new classes of seismic sources.