Abstract

Measurements of the Fourier amplitude spectra of Lg phases recorded at high frequency (0.5 to 14.0 Hz) by broadband seismic stations are used to determine regional attenuation relationships for southern California, the Basin and Range Province, the central United States, and the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Fourier spectral amplitudes were measured every quarter octave from Lg phases windowed between 3.0 and 3.7 km sec−1 and recorded in the distance range of 150 to 1000 km. Attenuation at each frequency is determined by assuming a geometrical spreading exponent of 0.5 and inverting for Q and source and receiver terms. Both southern California and the Basin and Range Province are well described by low Lg Q and frequency-dependent attenuation. Lg spectral amplitudes in southern California are fit at low frequencies (0.625 to 0.875 Hz) by a constant Lg Q of 224 and by a frequency-dependent Lg Q function Q = 187−7+7f0.55(±0.03) in the frequency band 1.0 to 7.0 Hz. The Basin and Range Province is characterized by a constant Lg Q of 192 for frequencies of 0.5 to 0.875 Hz and by the frequency-dependent Lg Q function Q = 235−11+11f0.56(±0.04) in the frequency band 1.0 to 5.0 Hz. A change in frequency dependence above 5.0 Hz is possible due to contamination of the Lg window by Pn and Sn phases. Lg spectral amplitudes in the central United States are fit by a mean frequency-independent Lg Q of 1291 for frequencies of 1.5 to 7.0 Hz, while a frequency-dependent Lg Q of Q = 1052−83+91(f/1.5)0.22(±0.06) fits the Lg spectral amplitudes for the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada over the passband 1.5 to 14.0 Hz. Attenuation measurements for these areas were restricted to frequencies >1.5 Hz due to larger microseismic noise levels at the lower frequencies.

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