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Published June 3, 1977 | public
Journal Article

The Earth as a Seismic Absorption Band


Attenuation of seismic waves indicates that the earth is not perfectly elastic. Dispersion accompanying absorption gives frequency-dependent "elastic" moduli, a fact that must be taken into account when inverting seismic data. Normal mode data are reinverted after correcting for absorption. The correction removes the discrepancy between body wave and free oscillation interpretations of earth structure.

Additional Information

© 1977 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 16 August 1976; revised 7 December 1976. We are indebted to Sir Harold Jeffreys, who has consistently maintained that free oscillation and body wave data could not be compared directly because of the importance of damping. The role of damping has also been recognized by D. Davies, E. Carpenter, C. Lomnitz, and M. J. Randall. We wish to particularly thank M. J. Randall, who pointed out to us the inadequacy of current treatments of attenuation. This research was supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense and was monitored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under contract F44620-77-C-0022. Contribution No. 2740, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.

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