Abstract

Two three-component seismometers (one surface and one borehole) were re-installed on the Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina in July 1992 to determine attenuation in the Coastal Plain sediment wedge and source parameters of local earthquakes. Four earthquakes M ∼ 1.8 to 3.6 were recorded during the next 6 months. The largest event was located near Summerville within the meizoseismal area for the 1886 Charleston earthquake. Two shocks were located 50 km to the east near Neeses, and one was located 20 km north of the SRS near Aiken. Although source parameters have been determined from strong motion data and short-period regional networks for east coast earthquakes, such as the Saguenay, Nahanni, and Mt. Laurier earthquakes (e.g., Atkinson, 1993), these are some of the first source parameters determined from broad-band digital recorders. Seismograms for the Summerville event are also available from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Blacksburg, Virginia, providing estimates of t* beyond 200 km. Here we determine source parameters such as moment, stress drop, and the attenuation parameter t* using a non-linear least-squares algorithm. We do not correct for site response because the deepest borehole is not below the Coastal Plain sediments (about 300m thick at this site) and because only one station is available for most of the data. Values of t* are marginally higher from seismograms recorded at the surface when compared to records from the 91m depth borehole seismograph. A value of 170-200 bars was determined for the Brune stress drop of the Summerville event using the borehole data, which is high compared to a value of 50 bars usually specified for modeling strong motion in western North America, but similar to other estimates for eastern North America. A higher stress drop leads to a higher seismic risk because peak acceleration is approximately proportional to stress drop. Moreover, mid- to upper-crustal Qs are in the range of 2,000 to 3,000, which would permit the propagation of high frequency seismic waves. A comparison of the surface records from the SRS with a record from the USGS dense array at Parkfield, CA for an event at about the same distance range and moment as the Summerville event-SRS case shows that the peak acceleration of the Summerville event is 16 times higher than that for the event from California (stress drop of 21 bars).

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.