Abstract

Providing a quantitative estimate of earthquake location quality is not a simple task. Traditional methods, used in literature, are not exhaustive and depend on a subjective point of view, because they consist of empirical choice of quality thresholds of different estimators of location uncertainty. However, we notice that these estimators are correlated with one another, implying the need to combine them to obtain a numerical and impartial estimate of the quality of a seismic location. Therefore, we provide a formula that associates a quality factor (qf) value with a seismic location, which is based on the combination of a set of uncertainty estimators, suitably normalized. We apply the criterion to two different‐type and different‐scale earthquake catalogs, located by two different methods, obtaining encouraging results.

The qf parameter definition is a fast, simple, and objective instrument to provide a user‐friendly classification of location quality. Thus, the qf could represent a powerful tool for routine monitoring location computation.

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