Abstract

The automated global real‐time association of phase picks into seismic sources comes with unique challenges when simultaneously monitoring at local, regional, and global scales. High spatial variability in seismic station density, transitory seismic data availability, and time‐varying noise characteristics of individual stations must be considered in the design of an associator that is fast and accurate with a low false association rate. These challenges are particularly apparent at the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), which monitors seismicity in near‐real time on local, regional, and global scales using seismic data from roughly 2100 real‐time seismic stations. To fully leverage this large dataset, NEIC developed a standalone self‐configuring seismic phase associator, GLobal ASSociator 3 (GLASS3) that simultaneously processes variably scaled 3D association webs, each with a unique set of nucleation criteria (e.g., nucleation stack threshold). GLASS3 has many useful features for real‐time monitoring including its computational efficiency, instantaneous pick processing, and on‐the‐fly configurability such as the creation and removal of targeted association webs and updates to supporting station metadata. GLASS3 runs both as part of a real‐time event processing system and as a configurable standalone associator that can be applied to a large variety of seismic problems. Here, we describe the GLASS3 algorithm and demonstrate (including input data and configuration files) its use in associating phase‐ambiguous picks on multiple scales.

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