ABSTRACT

Over the past two decades, the amount of available seismic data has increased significantly, fueling the need for automatic processing to use the vast amount of information contained in such data sets. Detecting seismicity in temporary aftershock networks is one important example that has become a huge challenge because of the high seismicity rate and dense station coverage. Additionally, the need for highly accurate earthquake locations to distinguish between different competing physical processes during the postseismic period demands even more accurate arrival‐time estimates of seismic phase. Here, we present a convolutional neural network (CNN) for classifying seismic phase onsets for local seismic networks. The CNN is trained on a small dataset for deep‐learning purposes (411 events) detected throughout northern Chile, typical for a temporary aftershock network. In the absence of extensive training data, we demonstrate that a CNN‐based automatic phase picker can still improve performance in classifying seismic phases, which matches or exceeds that of historic methods. The trained network is tested against an optimized short‐term average/long‐term average (STA/LTA) based method (Rietbrock et al., 2012) in classifying phase onsets for a separate dataset of 3878 events throughout the same region. Based on station travel‐time residuals, the CNN outperforms the STA/LTA approach and achieves location residual distribution close to the ones obtained by manual inspection.

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