ABSTRACT

Radiation patterns of earthquakes contain important information on tectonic strain responsible for seismic events. However, elastic anisotropy may significantly impact these patterns. We systematically investigate and visualize the effect of anisotropy on the radiation patterns of microseismic events. For visualization, we use a vertical-transverse-isotropic (VTI) medium. We distinguish between two different effects: the anisotropy in the source and the anisotropy on the propagation path. Source anisotropy mathematically comes from the matrix multiplication of the anisotropic stiffness tensor with the source strain expressed by the potency tensor. We analyze this effect using the corresponding radiation pattern and the moment tensor decomposition. Propagation anisotropy mathematically comes from the deviation between the polarization and the propagation direction of a quasi P-wave in an anisotropic medium. We investigate both effects separately by either assuming the source to be anisotropic and the propagation to be isotropic or vice versa. We find that both effects have a significant impact on the radiation pattern of a pure-slip source. Finally, we develop an alternative visualization of source mechanisms by plotting beach balls proportional to their potency tensors. For this, we multiply the potency tensor with an isotropic elasticity tensor having the equivalent shear modulus μ and λ=0. In this way, we visualize the tectonic deformation in the source, independently of the rock anisotropy.

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