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Keywords:

  • Earthquake source observations;
  • Surface waves and free oscillations;
  • Theoretical seismology

SUMMARY

The purpose of this study is to develop and test a modification to a previous method of regional seismic event location based on Empirical Green's Functions (EGFs) produced from ambient seismic noise. Elastic EGFs between pairs of seismic stations are determined by cross-correlating long ambient noise time-series recorded at the two stations. The EGFs principally contain Rayleigh- and Love-wave energy on the vertical and transverse components, respectively, and we utilize these signals between about 5 and 12 s period. The previous method, based exclusively on Rayleigh waves, may yield biased epicentral locations for certain event types with hypocentral depths between 2 and 5 km. Here we present theoretical arguments that show how Love waves can be introduced to reduce or potentially eliminate the bias. We also present applications of Rayleigh- and Love-wave EGFs to locate 10 reference events in the western United States. The separate Rayleigh and Love epicentral locations and the joint locations using a combination of the two waves agree to within 1 km distance, on average, but confidence ellipses are smallest when both types of waves are used.