Radial P-wave Receiver Function Wavefield Animation Public

Seismic receiver functions are time series that contain information on the crust and upper-mantle seismic structure beneath one or more three-component seismic stations. The local structure effects are isolated from more distant propagation effects by deconvolving one ground-motion component from the others. Receiver functions are commonly used to estimate bulk crustal properties (the ratio of P-to-S-wave speed, crustal thickness, transition-zone time delay variation, etc.) and often to estimate more detailed structure using observations from both permanent and temporary stations. The EarthScope Transportable Array (TA) greatly increased the quantity of data from directly comparable stations (similar installation, instruments, adjacent locations, etc.) available for receiver function analysis. A number of researchers have exploited these data or developed automated processes to do so and produced interesting constraints in the seismic structure underlying the conterminous United States. These results have included detailed analyses and stacking efforts, as well as efforts to combine receiver functions with complementary observations to better constrain the subsurface geology. In this presentation I use a large sample of receiver functions (over one million) to explore the information content in the receiver functions. I exploit the data from the TA and compare temporary station performance with adjacent long-term stations to investigate some of the characteristics of receiver function analysis. In particular, I address questions such as what fraction of receiver function estimates appear robust and how does that number depend on the magnitude, distance, and depth of the sources? I also explore patterns in the receiver functions in terms of the character and complexity measured using the radial and transverse components. The idea here is to extract specific information from the receiver functions to allow intra-site and inter-site comparison, not so much to estimate the details of the subsurface structure, which are best left to combined analyses of receiver functions and other observations. The goal is to identify the lessons in the large sample provided by the TA that may be valuable for future deployments (large and small) and analyses.


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Charles J. Ammon
seismology, geoscience
Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
Resource type
Published Date
December, 2013
97.8 MB
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Last modified: 2014-09-10

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