Location and Relocation of Seismic Sources

Abstract: This dissertation is a comprehensive summary of four papers on the development and application of new strategies for locating tremor and relocating events in earthquake catalogs.In the first paper, two new strategies for relocating events in a catalog are introduced. The seismicity pattern of an earthquake catalog is often used to delineate seismically active faults. However, the delineation is often hindered by the diffuseness of earthquake locations in the catalog. To reduce the diffuseness and simplify the seismicity pattern, a relocation and a collapsing method are developed and applied. The relocation method uses the catalog event density as an a priori constraint for relocations in a Bayesian inversion. The catalog event density is expressed in terms of the combined probability distribution of all events in the catalog. The collapsing method uses the same catalog density as an attractor for focusing the seismicity in an iterative scheme. These two strategies are applied to an aftershock sequence after a pair of earthquakes which occurred in southwest Iceland, 2008. The seismicity pattern is simplified by application of the methods and the faults of the mainshocks are delineated by the reworked catalog.In the second paper, the spatial distribution of seismicity of the Hengill region, southwest Iceland is analyzed. The relocation and collapsing methods developed in the first paper and a non-linear relocation strategy using empirical traveltime tables are used to process a catalog collected by the Icelandic Meteorological Office. The reworked catalog reproduces details of the spatial distribution of seismicity that independently emerges from relative relocations of a small subset of the catalog events. The processed catalog is then used to estimate the depth to the brittle-ductile transition. The estimates show that in general the northern part of the area, dominated by volcanic processes, has a shallower depth than the southern part, where tectonic deformation predominates.In the third and the fourth papers, two back-projection methods using inter-station cross correlations are proposed for locating tremor sources. For the first method, double correlations, defined as the cross correlations of correlations from two station pairs sharing a common reference station, are back projected. For the second method, the products of correlation envelopes from a group of stations sharing a common reference station are back projected. Back projecting these combinations of correlations, instead of single correlations, suppresses random noise and reduces the strong geometrical signature caused by the station configuration. These two methods are tested with volcanic tremor at Katla volcano, Iceland. The inferred source locations agree with surface observations related to volcanic events which occurred during the tremor period.