Abstract

As a byproduct of determining the source characteristics of some earthquakes and underground nuclear explosions, a body of fundamental-mode Rayleigh- and Love-wave anelastic attenuation values is available for propagation paths in the stable interior of North America in the 5- to 50-sec-period range. The anelastic attenuation values were obtained from four earthquakes occurring in the New Madrid seismic region, one earthquake in the northern Hudson Bay region, and three underground nuclear explosions in the western United States. In obtaining the anelastic attenuation data, a simple statistical test was applied to test the reliability of the observations. The anelastic attenuation coefficients are presented together with their 95 per cent confidence levels.

A stochastic form of the Backus-Gilbert inverse formalism was applied to a subset of these data to yield a Qβ model for the stable interior of North America. The model is characterized by relatively low Qβ values for the upper crust and a rapid transition to much higher values for the lower crust.

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