A Caltech Library Service

Locating earthquakes with surface waves and centroid moment tensor estimation

Wei, Shengji and Zhan, Zhongwen and Tan, Ying and Ni, Sidao and Helmberger, Don (2012) Locating earthquakes with surface waves and centroid moment tensor estimation. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 117 . Art. No. B04309. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2011JB008501.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF (Figure S1) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

PDF (Figure S2) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

PDF (Figure S3) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

PDF (Figure S4) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Traditionally, P wave arrival times have been used to locate regional earthquakes. In contrast, the travel times of surface waves dependent on source excitation and the source parameters and depth must be determined independently. Thus surface wave path delays need to be known before such data can be used for location. These delays can be estimated from previous earthquakes using the cut-and-paste technique, Ambient Seismic Noise tomography, and from 3D models. Taking the Chino Hills event as an example, we show consistency of path corrections for (>10 s) Love and Rayleigh waves to within about 1 s obtained from these methods. We then use these empirically derived delay maps to determine centroid locations of 138 Southern California moderate-sized (3.5 > M_w > 5.7) earthquakes using surface waves alone. It appears that these methods are capable of locating the main zone of rupture within a few (~3) km accuracy relative to Southern California Seismic Network locations with 5 stations that are well distributed in azimuth. We also address the timing accuracy required to resolve non-double-couple source parameters which trades-off with location with less than a km error required for a 10% Compensated Linear Vector Dipole resolution.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Zhan, Zhongwen0000-0002-5586-2607
Ni, Sidao0000-0003-2988-4850
Additional Information:© 2012 by the American Geophysical Union. Received 6 May 2011; revised 5 March 2012; accepted 6 March 2012; published 20 April 2012. The authors are grateful to the two reviewers, whose comments have helped to improve the manuscript. We thank Carl Tape for generating the 3D synthetics and useful discussions about trade-offs of mechanisms and structure. This work was supported under the SCEC award 119938; USGS award G10AP00048; contribution 10043 of the Seismological Laboratory, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology; and NSF of China fund 40821160549, 41074032. Seismic data used in this article were retrieved with the Seismic Transfer Program from Southern California Earthquake Data Center. Plots were made using the Generic Mapping Tools version 4.2.0.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)119938
National Natural Science Foundation of China40821160549
National Natural Science Foundation of China41074032
Subject Keywords:Chino Hills earthquake; earthquake location; moment tensor; surface wave; tomography
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Seismological Laboratory10043
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120516-093035734
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Wei, S., Z. Zhan, Y. Tan, S. Ni, and D. Helmberger (2012), Locating earthquakes with surface waves and centroid moment tensor estimation, J. Geophys. Res., 117, B04309, doi:10.1029/2011JB008501
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31501
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 May 2012 22:08
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 19:54

Repository Staff Only: item control page