Seismic surface waves are usually composed of overlapping wave trains representing multipath propagation. A first task in the analysis of such waves is to identify and separate the various component wave trains so that each can be analyzed separately.
Phase-matched filters are a class of linear filters in which the Fourier phase of the filter is made equal to that of a given signal. Herrin and Goforth (1977) described an iterative technique which can be used to find a phase-matched filter for a particular component of a seismic signal. Application of the filters to digital records of Rayleigh waves allowed multiple arrivals to be identified and removed, and allowed recovery of the complex spectrum of the primary wave train along with its apparent group-velocity dispersion curve.
A comparable analysis of Love waves presents additional complications. Love waves are contaminated by both Love and Rayleigh multipathing and by primary off-axis Rayleigh energy. In the case of explosions, there is much less energy generated as Love waves than as Rayleigh waves.
The applicability of phase-matched filtering to Love waves is demonstrated by its use on earthquakes occurring in the Norwegian Sea and near Iceland and on a nuclear explosion in Novaya Zemlya. Despite severe multipathing in two of the three events, the amplitude and phase of each of the primary Love waves were recovered without significant distortion.