Abstract

We investigate the effect of seismic anisotropy on P-wave receiver functions, calculating synthetic seismograms for P-wave incidence on multilayered anisotropic structure with hexagonal symmetry. The main characteristics of the receiver functions affected by the anisotropy are summarized as (1) appearance of seismic energy on radial and transverse receiver functions, (2) systematic change of P-to-S (Ps) converted waveforms on receiver functions as ray back-azimuth increases, and (3) reversal of the Ps-phase polarity on the radial receiver function in a range of the back azimuth. Another important influence is shear-wave splitting of the Ps-converted waves and other later phases reverberated as S wave. By numerical experiments using synthetic receiver functions, we demonstrate that the waveform cross-correlation analysis is applicable to splitting Ps phases on receiver functions to estimate the seismic anisotropy of layer structure. Advantages to utilizing the Ps phases are (1) they appear more clearly on receiver functions than on seismograms and (2) they inform us about what place along the seismic ray path is anisotropic. Real analysis of shear-wave splitting is executed to the Moho-generated Ps phases that are identified on receiver functions at six seismic stations in the Chugoku district, southwest Japan. The time lags between the two arrivals of the split Ps phases are estimated at 0.2–0.7 sec, and the polarization directions of the fast arrival components are from north–south to northeast–southwest. This result is consistent with recent results of shear-wave splitting measurements and the trend of linear epicenter distributions of crustal earthquakes and active fault strikes in the Chugoku district.

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