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Aftershock imaging using a dense seismometer array (AIDA) after the 2011 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake

By
Kathy K. Davenport
Kathy K. Davenport
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 4044 Derring Hall, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0001, USA
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John A. Hole
John A. Hole
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 4044 Derring Hall, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0001, USA
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Diego A. Quiros
Diego A. Quiros
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 4044 Derring Hall, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0001, USA
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Larry D. Brown
Larry D. Brown
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, 3120 Snee Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853-1504, USA
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Martin C. Chapman
Martin C. Chapman
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 4044 Derring Hall, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0001, USA
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Liang Han
Liang Han
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 4044 Derring Hall, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0001, USA
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Walter D. Mooney
Walter D. Mooney
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2015

The Aftershock Imaging with Dense Arrays (AIDA) project recorded 12 days of high-density seismic array data following the 23 August 2011 Mineral, Virginia (USA), earthquake. AIDA utilized short-period, vertical-component seismographs at 201 locations to record closely spaced data that would reduce spatial aliasing. Interstation correlation enabled a detection threshold between magnitude −1.5 and −2. A joint hypocenter and velocity inversion algorithm was applied to compressional and shear wave arrival times for 300 of the larger events. Traveltime misfits were minimized using a constant velocity of Vp = 6.2–6.25 and Vs = 3.61–3.63. Hypocenter location error estimates for this range of velocities are ~100 m. Little to no three-dimensional variation exists in the seismic velocity of the upper crust, consistent with the aftershock zone being within a single crystalline rock terrane. The hypocenter locations define a 1–2-km-wide cloud with a strike of ~029° and dip of ~53°E, consistent with the focal mechanism of the main shock. The cloud bends ~5° along strike and has a slightly shallower dip angle below ~6 km depth, indicating a broad, complex fault zone with a slightly concave shape. This study shows that seismic arrays comparable to those used in controlled-source seismology can be successfully applied to aftershock sequences, and that dense array data can produce high-resolution information about earthquake rupture zones.

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GSA Special Papers

The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake, and Its Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America

Geological Society of America
ISBN print:
9780813725093
Publication date:
January 01, 2015

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