Papers on Seismology
Lg and Rg waves on the California Regional Networks from the December 23, 1985 Nahanni Earthquake
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. Published in 1991 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth (1978–2012)
Volume 96, Issue B7, pages 12099–12125, 10 July 1991
How to Cite
1991), Lg and Rg waves on the California Regional Networks from the December 23, 1985 Nahanni Earthquake, J. Geophys. Res., 96(B7), 12099–12125, doi:10.1029/91JB00920., and (
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 MAR 1991
- Manuscript Received: 25 MAY 1990
We investigate Lg and Rg propagation in California using the central and southern California regional networks. Approximately 550 stations constitute these two short-period networks providing a dense coverage of almost the entire state. The waveforms recorded from the December 23, 1985, Nahanni, Canada, earthquake are used to construct three profiles along the propagation path (almost N-S) and three perpendicular to the propagation path (almost E-W) to look at the nature of propagation of these two types of surface waves. Groups of records from stations in various geological and tectonic provinces in California are also examined in order to establish regional characteristics of the surface waves. We find that the propagation characteristics of Lg differ from those of Rg across California; Lg waves are apparently more sensitive to crustal heterogeneities. The most striking observations are the similarity of coda for both the Lg and the Rg waves within geologic provinces and the marked difference in coda between regions. These differences are seen in the amplitudes, coda duration, shape of the energy envelope, frequency content, and sharpness of the phase initiation. In general, a decrease in the Moho depth near the Pacific Coast is correlated with a decrease in the surface wave amplitude, especially at higher frequencies (0.15–0.2 Hz). Most interesting is the association of the San Andreas fault with abrupt changes in the wave train amplitudes. The surface waves are amplified in the vicinity of the fault zone and then decrease in amplitude after the zone is crossed. In the Coast Ranges, amplitudes are low and waveform coherence is poor. The Rg phase dominates the record in the Sierra Nevada, and both surface waves are amplified by the thick sedimentary sequence of the Great Valley.