Abstract

In northern Israel, quarry blasts and microearthquakes occur in a region with complicated tectonics. Therefore correct event identification, preferably based on a simple method that can be applied on a routine basis, is essential for accurate and detailed seismotectonic studies. Spectral analysis of quarry blasts and microearthquakes recorded at local distances (5 < Δ < 2000 km) by stations of the Israel Seismograph Network revealed spectral characteristics in the frequency range less than 12.5 Hz that can be used routinely for event identification. Most quarry blasts in northern Israel are ripple-fired, open pit blasts, consequently we chose an event discrimination method based on the recognition of ripple-firing patterns in the signal. A simple model for ripple firing parameters, based on interference theory of linear systems and including random effects, predicts spectral minima at low frequencies identical for different seismic phases. We compared the spectra of complete seismogram signals of 52 events recorded by the ISN at different distances and azimuths, including both microearthquakes and quarry blasts in a selected region of northern Israel. Consistent spectral modulation was found in a band from about 2 to 8 Hz for 18 of 21 reliably identified, i.e., reported, quarry blasts with time delays of 20 to 40 msec. The spectral minima frequencies correspond to those predicted by the theory.

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