Publications

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2018
Qin, L, Ben-Zion Y, Qiu H, Share PE, Ross ZE, Vernon FL.  2018.  Internal structure of the San Jacinto fault zone in the trifurcation area southeast of Anza, California, from data of dense seismic arrays. Geophysical Journal International. 213:98-114.   10.1093/gji/ggx540   AbstractWebsite

We image the internal structure of the San Jacinto fault zone (SJFZ) in the trifurcation area southeast of Anza, California, with seismic records from dense linear and rectangular arrays. The examined data include recordings from more than 20 000 local earthquakes and nine teleseismic events. Automatic detection algorithms and visual inspection are used to identify P and S body waves, along with P- and S-types fault zone trapped waves (FZTW). The location at depth of the main branch of the SJFZ, the Clark fault, is identified from systematic waveform changes across lines of sensors within the dense rectangular array. Delay times of P arrivals from teleseismic and local events indicate damage asymmetry across the fault, with higher damage to the NE, producing a local reversal of the velocity contrast in the shallow crust with respect to the large-scale structure. A portion of the damage zone between the main fault and a second mapped surface trace to the NE generates P- and S-types FZTW. Inversions of high-quality S-type FZTW indicate that the most likely parameters of the trapping structure are width of similar to 70 m, S-wave velocity reduction of 60 per cent, Q value of 60 and depth of similar to 2 km. The local reversal of the shallow velocity contrast across the fault with respect to large-scale structure is consistent with preferred propagation of earthquake ruptures in the area to the NW.

2017
Donner, S, Lin CJ, Hadziioannou C, Gebauer A, Vernon F, Agnew DC, Igel H, Schreiber U, Wassermann J.  2017.  Comparing direct observation of strain, rotation, and displacement with array estimates at Pinon Flat Observatory, California. Seismological Research Letters. 88:1107-1116.   10.1785/0220160216   AbstractWebsite

The unique instrument setting at the Pinon Flat Observatory in California is used to simultaneously measure 10 out of the 12 components, completely describing the seismic-wave field. We compare the direct measurements of rotation and strain for the 13 September 2015 M-w 6.7 Gulf of California earthquake with array-derived observations using this configuration for the first time. In general, we find a very good fit between the observations of the two measurements with cross-correlation coefficients up to 0.99. These promising results indicate that the direct and array-derived measurements of rotation and strain are consistent. For the array-based measurement, we derived a relation to estimate the frequency range within which the array-derived observations provide reliable results. This relation depends on the phase velocity of the study area and the calibration error, as well as on the size of the array.

2015
Ben-Zion, Y, Vernon FL, Ozakin Y, Zigone D, Ross ZE, Meng HR, White M, Reyes J, Hollis D, Barklage M.  2015.  Basic data features and results from a spatially dense seismic array on the San Jacinto fault zone. Geophysical Journal International. 202:370-380.   10.1093/gji/ggv142   AbstractWebsite

We discuss several outstanding aspects of seismograms recorded during >4 weeks by a spatially dense Nodal array, straddling the damage zone of the San Jacinto fault in southern California, and some example results. The waveforms contain numerous spikes and bursts of high-frequency waves (up to the recorded 200 Hz) produced in part by minute failure events in the shallow crust. The high spatial density of the array facilitates the detection of 120 small local earthquakes in a single day, most of which not detected by the surrounding ANZA and regional southern California networks. Beamforming results identify likely ongoing cultural noise sources dominant in the frequency range 1-10 Hz and likely ongoing earthquake sources dominant in the frequency range 20-40 Hz. Matched-field processing and back-projection of seismograms provide alternate event location. The median noise levels during the experiment at different stations, waves generated by Betsy gunshots, and wavefields from nearby earthquakes point consistently to several structural units across the fault. Seismic trapping structure and local sedimentary basin produce localized motion amplification and stronger attenuation than adjacent regions. Cross correlations of high-frequency noise recorded at closely spaced stations provide a structural image of the subsurface material across the fault zone. The high spatial density and broad frequency range of the data can be used for additional high resolution studies of structure and source properties in the shallow crust.

2014
Yang, HF, Li ZF, Peng ZG, Ben-Zion Y, Vernon F.  2014.  Low-velocity zones along the San Jacinto Fault, Southern California, from body waves recorded in dense linear arrays. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 119:8976-8990.   10.1002/2014jb011548   AbstractWebsite

We derive high-resolution information on low-velocity fault zone (FZ) structures along the San Jacinto Fault Zone (SJFZ), Southern California, using waveforms of local earthquakes that are recorded at multiple linear cross-fault arrays. We observe clear across-fault delays of direct P and S waves, indicating damage zones at different segments of the SJFZ. We then compute synthetic traveltimes and waveforms using generalized ray theory and perform forward modeling to constrain the FZ parameters. At the southern section near the trifurcation area, the low-velocity zone (LVZ) of the Clark branch has a width of 200m, 30-45% reduction in Vp, and 50% reduction in Vs. From array data across the Anza seismic gap, we find a LVZ with 200m width and 50% reduction in both Vp and Vs, nearly as prominent as that on the southern section. We only find prominent LVZs beneath three out of the five arrays, indicating along-strike variations of the fault damage. FZ-reflected phases are considerably less clear than those observed above the rupture zone of the 1992 Landers earthquake shortly after the event. This may reflect partially healed LVZs with less sharp boundaries at the SJFZ, given the relatively long lapse time from the last large surface-rupturing event. Alternatively, the lack of observed FZ-reflected phases could be partially due to the relatively small aperture of the arrays. Nevertheless, the clear signatures of damage zones at Anza and other locations indicate very slow healing process, at least in the top few kilometers of the crust.

Kurzon, I, Vernon FL, Rosenberger A, Ben-Zion Y.  2014.  Real-time automatic detectors of P and S waves using singular value decomposition. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 104:1696-1708.   10.1785/0120130295   AbstractWebsite

We implement a new method for automatic detection of P and S phases using singular value decomposition (SVD) analysis. The method is based on the real-time iteration algorithm of Rosenberger (2010) for the SVD of three-component seismograms. The algorithm identifies the apparent incidence angle by applying SVD and separates the waveforms into their P and S components. We apply the algorithm to filtered waveforms and then either set detectors on the incidence angle and singular values or apply signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) detectors for P and S picking on the filtered and SVD-separated channels. The Anza Seismic Network and the recent portable deployment in the San Jacinto fault zone area provide a very dense seismic network for testing the detection algorithm in a diverse setting, including events with different source mechanisms, stations with different site characteristics, and ray paths that diverge from the approximation used in the SVD algorithm. A 2-30 Hz Butterworth band-pass filter gives the best performance for a large variety of events and stations. We use the SVD detectors on many events and present results from the complex and intense aftershock sequence of the M-w 5.2 June 2005 event. This sequence was thoroughly reviewed by several analysts, identifying 294 events in the first hour, all located in a dense cluster around the mainshock. We used this dataset to fine-tune the automatic SVD detection, association, and location, achieving a 37% automatic identification and location of events. All detected events fall within the dense cluster, and there are no false events. An ordinary SNR detector does not exceed 11% success and has a wider spread of locations (not within the reviewed cluster). The preknowledge of the phases picked ( P or S) by the SVD detectors significantly reduces the noise created by phase-blind SNR detectors.

2011
Anchieta, MC, Wolfe CJ, Pavlis GL, Vernon FL, Eakins JA, Solomon SC, Laske G, Collins JA.  2011.  Seismicity around the Hawaiian Islands Recorded by the PLUME Seismometer Networks: Insight into Faulting near Maui, Molokai, and Oahu. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 101:1742-1758.   10.1785/0120100271   AbstractWebsite

Instrumental limitations have long prevented the detailed characterization of offshore earthquakes around the Hawaiian Islands, and little is known about the spatial distribution of earthquakes in regions outside the vicinity of the well-monitored island of Hawaii. Here, we analyze data from the deployment of two successive networks of ocean-bottom seismometers (OBSs) as part of the Plume-Lithosphere Undersea Melt Experiment (PLUME) to better determine seismicity patterns along the Hawaiian Islands and their offshore regions. We find that earthquake detection rates are improved when seismograms are high-pass filtered above similar to 5 Hz to reduce the background seismic noise. Hypocentral solutions have been determined for 1147 previously undetected microearthquakes, and an additional 2880 events correspond to earthquakes already in the catalog of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). The spatial patterns of earthquakes identified solely on the PLUME network provide complementary information to patterns identified by the HVO network. A diffuse pattern of seismicity is found to the southeast of the island of Hawaii, and clusters of earthquakes are located west of the island. Many microearthquakes are observed in the vicinity of Maui and Molokai, including some located at mantle depths. A small number of microearthquakes are found to occur near Oahu. There is no evidence from our analyses that the Molokai fracture zone (MFZ) is seismically active at this time, and no evidence was found of a previously hypothesized Diamond Head fault (DHF) near Oahu. However, on the basis of both the PLUME and HVO locations, there is a northeast-southwest-trending swath of epicenters extending northeastward of Oahu that may indicate the locus of moderate-sized historic earthquakes attributed to the Oahu region.

Kane, DL, Prieto GA, Vernon FL, Shearer PM.  2011.  Quantifying Seismic Source Parameter Uncertainties. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 101:535-543.   10.1785/0120100166   AbstractWebsite

We use data from a small aperture array in southern California to quantify variations in source parameter estimates at closely spaced stations (distances ranging from similar to 7 to 350 m) to provide constraints on parameter uncertainties. Many studies do not consider uncertainties in these estimates even though they can be significant and have important implications for studies of earthquake source physics. Here, we estimate seismic source parameters in the frequency domain using empirical Green's function (EGF) methods to remove effects of the travel paths between earthquakes and their recording stations. We examine uncertainties in our estimates by quantifying the resulting distributions over all stations in the array. For coseismic stress drop estimates, we find that minimum uncertainties of similar to 30% of the estimate can be expected. To test the robustness of our results, we explore variations of the dataset using different groupings of stations, different source regions, and different EGF earthquakes. Although these differences affect our absolute estimates of stress drop, they do not greatly influence the spread in our resulting estimates. These sensitivity tests show that station selection is not the primary contribution to the uncertainties in our parameter estimates for single stations. We conclude that establishing reliable methods of estimating uncertainties in source parameter estimates (including corner frequencies, source durations, and coseismic static stress drops) is essential, particularly when the results are used in the comparisons among different studies over a range of earthquake magnitudes and locations.

2009
Prieto, GA, Parker RL, Vernon FL.  2009.  A Fortran 90 library for multitaper spectrum analysis. Computers & Geosciences. 35:1701-1710.   10.1016/j.cageo.2008.06.007   AbstractWebsite

The spectral analysis of geological and geophysical data has been a fundamental tool in understanding Earth's processes. We present a Fortran 90 library for multitaper spectrum estimation, a state-of-the-art method that has been shown to outperform the standard methods. The library goes beyond power spectrum estimation and extracts for the user more information including confidence intervals, diagnostics for single frequency periodicities, and coherence and transfer functions for multivariate problems. In addition, the sine multitaper method can also be implemented. The library presented here provides the tools needed in multiple fields of the Earth sciences for the analysis of data as evident from various examples. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

2005
Lewis, MA, Peng Z, Ben-Zion Y, Vernon FL.  2005.  Shallow seismic trapping structure in the San Jacinto fault zone near Anza, California. Geophysical Journal International. 162:867-881.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2005.02684.x   AbstractWebsite

We analyse fault zone trapped waves, generated by similar to 500 small earthquakes, for high-resolution imaging of the subsurface structure of the Coyote Creek, Clark Valley and Buck Ridge branches of the San Jacinto fault zone near Anza, California. Based on a small number of selected trapped waves within this data set, a previous study concluded on the existence of a low-velocity waveguide that is continuous to a depth of 15-20 km. In contrast, our systematic analysis of the larger data set indicates a shallow trapping structure that extends only to a depth of 3-5 km. This is based on the following lines of evidence. (1) Earthquakes clearly outside these fault branches generate fault zone trapped waves that are recorded by stations within the fault zones. (2) A traveltime analysis of the difference between the direct S arrivals and trapped wave groups shows no systematic increase (moveout) with increasing hypocentral distance or event depth. Estimates based on the observed average moveout values indicate that the propagation distances within the low-velocity fault zone layers are 3-5 km. (3) Quantitative waveform inversions of trapped wave data indicate similar short propagation distances within the low-velocity fault zone layers. The results are compatible with recent inferences on shallow trapping structures along several other faults and rupture zones. The waveform inversions also indicate that the shallow trapping structures are offset to the northeast from the surface trace of each fault branch. This may result from a preferred propagation direction of large earthquake ruptures on the San Jacinto fault.

2001
Li, YG, Vernon FL.  2001.  Characterization of the San Jacinto fault zone near Anza, California, by fault zone trapped waves. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 106:30671-30688.   10.1029/2000jb000107   AbstractWebsite

We installed three 350-m-long seismic arrays, each array consisting of 12 three-component stations, across the Coyote Creek fault (CCF), Clark Valley fault (CVF), and Buck Ridge fault (BRF) of the San Jacinto fault zone (SJFZ) near Anza, California, to record fault zone trapped waves from microearthquakes. We observed trapped waves with relatively large amplitudes and long duration at stations close to the fault traces for earthquakes occurring within the fault zone. The coda-normalized amplitude spectra of trapped waves showed peaks at 4-7 Hz, which decreased sharply with the distance from the fault trace. Observations and three-dimensional finite difference simulations of trapped waves revealed low-velocity and low-Q waveguides on these active faults with the width of 75- 100 m in which shear velocities are reduced by 25-30% from wall rock velocities and Q values are 40-90 at depths between the surface and 18 km. The locations of earthquakes for which we observed trapped waves delineate the most seismically active fault strands of the SJFZ in a region with complicated slip planes near Anza. The low-velocity waveguides inferred from trapped waves extend 15 to 20 km in the length on these active faults and are segmented by the fault discontinuities. The waveguide on the BRF dips southwestward to connect the waveguide on the CVF, which dips northeastward. This waveguide extends at the seismogenic depth through Anza slip gap to another low-velocity waveguide on the Casa Loma fault (CLF), which has been delineated in our previous study of the SJFZ using trapped waves [Li et al., 1997]. The waveguide on the CCF in Coyote Mountain is nearly vertical and disconnected from the CLF at the south edge of Anza gap. We interpret the low-velocity waveguides on these active strands to partly result from recent prehistoric significant earthquakes on them and evaluate the future earthquake in the Anza region.

1997
Li, YG, Aki K, Vernon FL.  1997.  San Jacinto fault zone guided waves: A discrimination for recently active fault strands near Anza, California. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 102:11689-11701.   10.1029/97jb01050   AbstractWebsite

We deployed three 350-m-long eight-element linear seismic arrays in the San Jacinto Fault Zone (SJFZ) near Anza, California, to record microearthquakes starting in August through December 1995. Two arrays were deployed 18 km northwest of Anza, across the Casa Loma fault (CLF) and the Hot Springs fault (HSF) strands of the SJFZ. The third array was deployed across the San Jacinto fault (SJF) in the Anza slip gap. We observed fault zone guided waves characterized by low-frequency, large amplitudes following S waves at the CLF array and the SJF array for earthquakes occurring within the fault zone. However, we did not observe guided waves at the HSF array for any events. The amplitude spectra of these guided waves showed peaks at 4 Hz at the CLF and 6 Hz at the SJF, which decreased sharply with the distance from the fault trace. In contrast, no spectral peaks at frequency lower than 6 Hz were registered at the HSF array. We used a finite difference method to simulate these guided modes as S waves trapped in a low-velocity waveguide sandwiched between high-velocity wall rocks. The guided mode data are adequately fit by a waveguide on the CLF with the average width of 120 m and S velocity of 2.5 km/s, about 25% reduced from the S velocity of the surrounding rock; this waveguide becomes 40 to 60 m wide with the S velocity of 2.8 km/s in the Anza slip gap. On the other hand, there is not a continuous waveguide on the HSF at depth. Locations of the events with guided modes suggest that the fault plane waveguide extends along the CLF between the towns of San Jacinto and Anza, dipping northeastward at 75 degrees-80 degrees to a depth of about 18 km; it becomes nearly vertical in the Anza gap. We speculate that the existence of a continuous low-velocity waveguide on the CLF can be caused by the rupture of the magnitude 6.9 earthquake on April 21, 1918,occurring near the towns of San Jacinto and Hemet. Further, the lack of a clear waveguide on the HSF suggests that it was not ruptured in this event.

1994
Hartse, HE, Fehler MC, Aster RC, Scott JS, Vernon FL.  1994.  Small-Scale Stress Heterogeneity in the Anza Seismic Gap, Southern California. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 99:6801-6818.   10.1029/93jb02874   AbstractWebsite

Focal mechanism inversions reveal significant lateral variations in stress orientations along the Anza segment of the San Jacinto fault zone. The most notable stress anomaly is within the 20-km aseismic (seismic gap) portion of the fault zone, where sigma1, the maximum compressive stress, is nearly horizontal and is oriented at 74-degrees +/- 13-degrees relative to the fault strike. This contrasts with orientations ranging from 62-degrees +/- 11-degrees to 49-degrees +/- 7-degrees along the more seismically active portions of the fault zone immediately to the northwest and southeast of the seismic gap. Regional stress results, found by inverting all focal mechanisms simultaneously, indicate that sigma1 is horizontal and trends north-south, while sigma3 is horizontal and trends east-west. Approximately, 15 km west of the seismic gap, in the off-fault Cahuilla swarm area, sigma1 and sigma3 solutions are rotated clockwise by about 25-degrees relative to the regional model. Roughly, 10 km southeast of the seismic gap near the Buck Ridge fault, sigma1 and sigma3 are rotated counterclockwise by about 10-degrees relative to the regional solution. Northwest of the seismic gap along the fault zone, sigma3 plunges about 30-degrees from the horizontal, correlating with a local increase in reverse faulting between the Hot Springs and San Jacinto faults. Southeast of the seismic gap, sigma1 plunges about 45-degrees from the horizontal, correlating with a local increase in normal faulting in the trifurcation region of the Buck Ridge, Clark, and Coyote Creek faults. We propose a simple mechanical model in which a block rotation superimposed on the dominant right-lateral strike-slip motion of the fault zone satisfies the first-order observations of stress orientation, faulting, and horizontal surface strain. Under this model the Anza seismic gap is the region of zero convergence between the northeast and southwest sides of the fault, and the fault zone strength within the seismic gap is either comparable to or exceeds the fault zone strength adjacent to the gap.