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Did Oldham Discover the Core After All? Handling Imprecise Historical Data with Hierarchical Bayesian Model Selection Methods

Muir, Jack B. and Tsai, Victor C. (2020) Did Oldham Discover the Core After All? Handling Imprecise Historical Data with Hierarchical Bayesian Model Selection Methods. Seismological Research Letters, 91 (3). pp. 1377-1383. ISSN 0895-0695. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200506-132625904

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Abstract

Historical seismic data are essential to fill in the gaps in geophysical knowledge caused by the low rate of significant seismic events. Handling historical data in the context of geophysical inverse problems requires special care, due to the large errors in the data collection process. Using Oldham’s data for the discovery of Earth’s core as a case study, we illustrate how a hierarchical Bayesian model selection methodology using leave‐one‐out cross validation can robustly and efficiently answer quantitative questions using even poor‐quality geophysical data. We find that there is statistically significant evidence for the existence of the core using only the P‐wave data that Oldham effectively discarded in his discussion.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1785/0220190266DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Muir, Jack B.0000-0003-2617-3420
Tsai, Victor C.0000-0003-1809-6672
Additional Information:© 2020 Seismological Society of America. Manuscript received 20 September 2019; Published online 15 January 2020. The authors would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their feedback and the SRL Editor‐in‐Chief Allison Bent for managing the review process. The authors would also like to thank Luis Rivera for providing an internal review of this article. J. B. M. would like to thank the General Sir John Monash Foundation and the Origin Energy Foundation for financial support during his graduate studies. Data and Resources: Historical data were taken from Oldham (1906), either from the reported tables of averaged events or by digitizing the presented travel‐time curves. All calculations were performed using the PyStan wrapper of the Stan statistical software package (Carpenter et al., 2017). The supplemental material contains inversion results for the five models not presented in the article (Figs. S1–S5). Additional discussion regarding hierarchical Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling and leave‐one‐out cross validation (LOO‐CV) versus k‐fold CV are also present in the supplement.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
General Sir John Monash FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Origin Energy FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200506-132625904
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200506-132625904
Official Citation:Jack B. Muir, Victor C. Tsai; Did Oldham Discover the Core After All? Handling Imprecise Historical Data with Hierarchical Bayesian Model Selection Methods. Seismological Research Letters ; 91 (3): 1377–1383. doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0220190266
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103041
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 May 2020 20:39
Last Modified:06 May 2020 20:39

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