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Journal Articles Geophysical Journal International Year : 2021

Relative earthquake location procedure for clustered seismicity with a single station

Francesco Grigoli
  • Function : Author
William Ellsworth
  • Function : Author
Miao Zhang
  • Function : Author
Mostafa Mousavi
  • Function : Author
Simone Cesca
  • Function : Author
Claudio Satriano
Gregory C. Beroza
  • Function : Author
Stefan Wiemer
  • Function : Author


Earthquake location is one of the oldest problems in seismology, yet remains an active research topic. With dense seismic monitoring networks it is possible to obtain reliable locations for microearthquakes; however, in many cases dense networks are lacking, limiting the location accuracy, or preventing location when there are too few observations. For small events in all settings, recording may be sparse and location may be difficult due to low signal-to-noise ratio. In this work we introduce a new, distance-geometry-based method to locate seismicity clusters using only one or two seismic stations. A Distance Geometry Problem determines the location of sets of points based only on the distances between some member pairs. Applied to seismology, our approach allows earthquake location using the inter-event distance between earthquakes pairs, which can be estimated using only one or two seismic stations. We first validate the method with synthetic data that resemble common cluster shapes, and then test the method with two seismic sequences in California: the August 2014 Mw 6.0 Napa earthquake band the July 2019 Mw 6.4 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence. We demonstrate that our approach provides robust and reliable results even for a single station. When using two seismic stations, the results capture the same structures recovered with high resolution Double Difference locations based on multiple stations. The proposed method is particularly useful for poorly monitored areas, where only a limited number of stations are available.
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Dates and versions

insu-03590072 , version 1 (17-06-2022)



Francesco Grigoli, William Ellsworth, Miao Zhang, Mostafa Mousavi, Simone Cesca, et al.. Relative earthquake location procedure for clustered seismicity with a single station. Geophysical Journal International, 2021, 225, pp.608-626. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggaa607⟩. ⟨insu-03590072⟩
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