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Velocity ratio variations in the source region of earthquake swarms in NW Bohemia obtained from arrival time double-differences

  • Crustal earthquake swarms are an expression of intensive cracking and rock damaging over periods of days, weeks or month in a small source region in the crust. They are caused by longer lasting stress changes in the source region. Often, the localized stressing of the crust is associated with fluid or gas migration, possibly in combination with pre-existing zones of weaknesses. However, verifying and quantifying localized fluid movement at depth remains difficult since the area affected is small and geophysical prospecting methods often cannot reach the required resolution. We apply a simple and robust method to estimate the velocity ratio between compressional (P) and shear (S) waves (upsilon(P)/upsilon(S)-ratio) in the source region of an earthquake swarm. The upsilon(P)/upsilon(S)-ratio may be unusual small if the swarm is related to gas in a porous or fractured rock. The method uses arrival time difference between P and S waves observed at surface seismic stations, and the associated double differences between pairs ofCrustal earthquake swarms are an expression of intensive cracking and rock damaging over periods of days, weeks or month in a small source region in the crust. They are caused by longer lasting stress changes in the source region. Often, the localized stressing of the crust is associated with fluid or gas migration, possibly in combination with pre-existing zones of weaknesses. However, verifying and quantifying localized fluid movement at depth remains difficult since the area affected is small and geophysical prospecting methods often cannot reach the required resolution. We apply a simple and robust method to estimate the velocity ratio between compressional (P) and shear (S) waves (upsilon(P)/upsilon(S)-ratio) in the source region of an earthquake swarm. The upsilon(P)/upsilon(S)-ratio may be unusual small if the swarm is related to gas in a porous or fractured rock. The method uses arrival time difference between P and S waves observed at surface seismic stations, and the associated double differences between pairs of earthquakes. An advantage is that earthquake locations are not required and the method seems lesser dependent on unknown velocity variations in the crust outside the source region. It is, thus, suited for monitoring purposes. Applications comprise three natural, mid-crustal (8-10 km) earthquake swarms between 1997 and 2008 from the NW-Bohemia swarm region. We resolve a strong temporal decrease of upsilon(P)/upsilon(S) before and during the main activity of the swarm, and a recovery of upsilon(P)/upsilon(S) to background levels at the end of the swarms. The anomalies are interpreted in terms of the Biot-Gassman equations, assuming the presence of oversaturated fluids degassing during the beginning phase of the swarm activity.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Torsten DahmORCiDGND, Tomas Fischer
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggt410
ISSN:0956-540X
ISSN:1365-246X
Parent Title (English):Geophysical journal international
Publisher:Oxford Univ. Press
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2014
Year of Completion:2014
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:Earthquake source observations; Tomography; Volcano seismology
Volume:196
Issue:2
Pagenumber:14
First Page:957
Last Page:970
Funder:Czech research projects MSM [0021620855, P210/12/2451]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Geowissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert