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I. Attenuation Tomography. II. Modeling Regional Love Waves: Imperial Valley to Pasadena


Ho-Liu, Phyllis Hang-Yin (1988) I. Attenuation Tomography. II. Modeling Regional Love Waves: Imperial Valley to Pasadena. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/fb8j-fs65.


Abstract to Part I

The inverse problem of seismic wave attenuation is solved by an iterative back-projection method. The seismic wave quality factor, Q, can be estimated approximately by inverting the S-to-P amplitude ratios. Effects of various uncertain ties in the method are tested and the attenuation tomography is shown to be useful in solving for the spatial variations in attenuation structure and in estimating the effective seismic quality factor of attenuating anomalies.

Back-projection attenuation tomography is applied to two cases in southern California: Imperial Valley and the Coso-Indian Wells region. In the Coso-Indian Wells region, a highly attenuating body (S-wave quality factor (Qβ ≈ 30) coincides with a slow P-wave anomaly mapped by Walck and Clayton (1987). This coincidence suggests the presence of a magmatic or hydrothermal body 3 to 5 km deep in the Indian Wells region. In the Imperial Valley, slow P-wave travel-time anomalies and highly attenuating S-wave anomalies were found in the Brawley seismic zone at a depth of 8 to 12 km. The effective S-wave quality factor is very low (Qβ ≈ 20) and the P-wave velocity is 10% slower than the surrounding areas. These results suggest either magmatic or hydrothermal intrusions, or fractures at depth, possibly related to active shear in the Brawley seismic zone.

No-block inversion is a generalized tomographic method utilizing the continuous form of an inverse problem. The inverse problem of attenuation can be posed in a continuous form , and the no-block inversion technique is applied to the same data set used in the back-projection tomography. A relatively small data set with little redundancy enables us to apply both techniques to a similar degree of resolution. The results obtained by the two methods are very similar. By applying the two methods to the same data set, formal errors and resolution can be directly computed for the final model, and the objectivity of the final result can be enhanced.

Both methods of attenuation tomography are applied to a data set of local earthquakes in Kilauea, Hawaii, to solve for the attenuation structure under Kilauea and the East Rift Zone. The shallow Kilauea magma chamber, East Rift Zone and the Mauna Loa magma chamber are delineated as attenuating anomalies. Detailed inversion reveals shallow secondary magma reservoirs at Mauna Ulu and Puu Oo, the present sites of volcanic eruptions. The Hilina Fault zone is highly attenuating, dominating the attenuating anomalies at shallow depths. The magma conduit system along the summit and the East Rift Zone of Kilauea shows up as a continuous supply channel extending down to a depth of approximately 6 km. The Southwest Rift Zone, on the other hand, is not delineated by attenuating anomalies, except at a depth of 8-12 km, where an attenuating anomaly is imaged west of Puu Kou. The Ylauna Loa chamber is seated at a deeper level (about 6-10 km) than the Kilauea magma chamber. Resolution in the Mauna Loa area is not as good as in the Kilauea area, and there is a trade-off between the depth extent of the magma chamber imaged under Mauna Loa and the error that is due to poor ray coverage. Kilauea magma chamber, on the other hand, is well resolved, according to a resolution test done at the location of the magma chamber.

Abstract to Part II

Long period seismograms recorded at Pasadena of earthquakes occurring along a profile to Imperial Valley are studied in terms of source phenomena (e.g., source mechanisms and depths) versus path effects. Some of the events have known source parameters, determined by teleseismic or near-field studies, and are used as master events in a forward modeling exercise to derive the Green's functions (SH displacements at Pasadena that are due to a pure strike-slip or dip-slip mechanism) that describe the propagation effects along the profile. Both timing and waveforms of records are matched by synthetics calculated from 2-dimensional velocity models. The best 2-dimensional section begins at Imperial Valley with a thin crust containing the basin structure and thickens towards Pasadena. The detailed nature of the transition zone at the base of the crust controls the early arriving shorter periods (strong motions), while the edge of the basin controls the scattered longer period surface waves. From the waveform characteristics alone, shallow events in the basin are easily distinguished from deep events, and the amount of strike-slip versus dip-slip motion is also easily determined. Those events rupturing the sediments, such as the 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake, can be recognized easily by a late-arriving scattered Love wave that has been delayed by the very slow path across the shallow valley structure.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Geophysics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geophysics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Kanamori, Hiroo (advisor)
  • Harkrider, David G. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Harkrider, David G. (chair)
  • Clayton, Robert W.
  • Helmberger, Donald V.
  • Kanamori, Hiroo
  • Silver, Leon T.
Defense Date:20 May 1988
Funding AgencyGrant Number
United States Geological Survey (USGS)14-08-0001-G1171
Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Air Force Geophysics Laboratory (AFGL)F19628-8-K0028
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03192013-112511014
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7528
Deposited By: John Wade
Deposited On:19 Mar 2013 21:07
Last Modified:19 Apr 2021 22:24

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