An automated local and regional seismic event detection and location system using waveform correlation


We report on the development of an automated Local Waveform Correlation Event Detection System (LWCEDS) and its application to the New Mexico Tech Seismic Network. LWCEDS is an adaptation of a global system, WCEDS, a matched filtering algorithm for global Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) monitoring applications developed at Sandia National Laboratories and New Mexico Tech. Although the current CTBT monitoring system is based on teleseismic phase detection, effort is being placed on research to highlight specific areas of the globe for which local and regional seismic networks could be employed. An automated waveform correlation regional location system could also serve as a rapid alert and automated location system by providing magnitude and hypocenter information within a few minutes of the occurrence of a hazardous earthquake. In the LWCEDS algorithm, processed waveforms are correlated with theoretical travel-time envelopes, and a grid search is performed to identify the space-time solutions that yield the highest correlations. High correlation indicates that an event has occurred and that a good approximation to the correct origin time and hypocenter has been determined; explicit phase identification is not required. To avoid the large computational expense of calculating a complete correlation for each grid point, we use a laterally homogeneous velocity model and reformulate the problem into a single matrix multiplication and matrix assessment for each time step. LWCEDS has been successfully tested on a suite of local and regional seismic events selected to span the range of expected event quality. Preliminary results from our sparse network show typical epicentral errors of less than 3 km for local events and, with notable exceptions, to within 10 to 20 km for regional events. Similar results were obtained during an on-line experiment conducted to generate daily bulletins during the time period from 3 December 1996 through 7 January 1997. Data from 156 triggers were processed, including 33 teleseisms, 102 regional events (includes explosions), and 21 local earthquakes. Results from this expanded test set are encouraging but reveal the need for a method to mask or flag various electronic and telemetry spikes.

Publication Title

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

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