A depth estimation procedure has been described which essentially attempts to identify depth phases by analyzing multi-station waveform data (hereafter called level II data) in various ways including deconvolution, prediction error filtering, and spectral analysis of the signals. In the absence of such observable phases, other methods based on S-P, ScS-P, and SKS-P travel times are tried to get an estimate of the source depth. The procedure was applied to waveform data collected from 31 globally distributed stations for the period between 1 and 15 October 1980. The digital data were analyzed at the temporary data center facilities of the National Defense Research Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
During this period, a total number of 162 events in the magnitude range 3.5 to 6.2 were defined by analyzing first arrival time data (hereafter called level I data) alone. For 120 of these events, it was possible to estimate depths using the present procedure. The applicability of the procedure was found to be 100 per cent for the events with mb > 4.8 and 88 per cent for the events with mb > 4. A comparison of level I depths and level II depths (the depths as obtained from level I and level II data, respectively) with that of the United States Geological Survey estimates indicated that it will be necessary to have at least one local station (Δ < 10°) among the level I data to obtain reasonable depth estimates from such data alone.
Further, it has been shown that S wave travel times could be successfully utilized for the estimation of source depth.