Abstract

Immediately following the Mw 7.2 Darfield, New Zealand, earthquake, over 180 Quake‐Catcher Network (QCN) low‐cost micro‐electro‐mechanical systems accelerometers were deployed in the Canterbury region. Using data recorded by this dense network from 2010 to 2013, we significantly improved the QCN rapid magnitude estimation relationship. The previous scaling relationship (Lawrence et al., 2014) did not accurately estimate the magnitudes of nearby (<35  km) events. The new scaling relationship estimates earthquake magnitudes within 1 magnitude unit of the GNS Science GeoNet earthquake catalog magnitudes for 99% of the events tested, within 0.5 magnitude units for 90% of the events, and within 0.25 magnitude units for 57% of the events. These magnitudes are reliably estimated within 3 s of the initial trigger recorded on at least seven stations. In this report, we present the methods used to calculate a new scaling relationship and demonstrate the accuracy of the revised magnitude estimates using a program that is able to retrospectively estimate event magnitudes using archived data.

Online Material: Table of magnitude estimates for Quake‐Catcher Network‐detected events, and figures clarifying the linear fitting technique used to calculate the Chung et al. revised scaling relationship.

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