Influence of continental margin on regional seismic wavefield

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Regional seismic analysis is an only way to investigate the source properties of small or moderate-sized seismic events that occur in physically unaccessible regions such as oceanic regions and politically-prohibited regions. The ground motions by earthquakes need to be understood for better mitigation of seismic hazards particularly in continental margins that often incorporate high seismicity. It has not been fully understood how seismic waves interact with complex crustal structures in continental margins. Responses of regional waves to complex crustal structures need to be quantified. Analysis of regional waveforms from controlled sources is desirable for investigation of influence of crustal structures. The influence of continental margin around the Korean Peninsula is investigated in terms of spectral contents, horizontal-to-vertical (H/V) spectral ratios and quality factors using regional waveforms for the 2009 North Korean underground nuclear explosion test that was well recorded by stations in the southern Korean Peninsula. Regional waveforms and spectral amplitudes vary significantly by path. Spectral contents of regional phases are different among stations in common great-circle directions. All regional phases modulate highly in continental margins. Path-dependent seismic attenuation is strong in low frequencies (≤. 3. Hz), and weak in high frequencies (>. 3. Hz). Continental margins cause directional energy partition of regional waves depending on the path. Regional waves attenuate highly in passage across continental margin, and then regrow on continental paths. The growth rate is stronger than inherent attenuation rate, causing seismic amplification. The shapes of H/V ratios are similar among various regional phases at common stations. On the other hand, the H/V ratios for common phases vary by station in the same azimuths. Characteristic differences in H/V ratios between two horizontal components suggest directional partition of seismic energy by crustal structures in the paths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 13

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank the guest editor Professor Zhongjie Zhang and two anonymous reviewers for fruitful review comments. I am grateful to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) for making seismic data available. This work was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant CATER 2012–8050 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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