Seismic Traveltime Tomography of Southern California Using Poisson-Voronoi Cells and 20 Years of Data

Hongjian Fang, Malcolm C. White, Yang Lu, & Yehuda Ben-Zion

Published May 17, 2022, SCEC Contribution #11879

We derive new, 3D, isotropic models of seismic compressional and shear wavespeeds, Vp and Vs, respectively, their ratio, Vp/Vs, and a catalog of relocated earthquakes for Southern California from more than 10 million P- and S-wave arrivals associated with over 0.3 million earthquakes that occurred between 2000 and 2020. We augment high-quality analyst-reviewed phase arrival picks from the Southern California Earthquake Data Center with S-wave arrival picks obtained with an automated algorithm, and we derive new wavespeed models via traveltime tomography formulated using Poisson-Voronoi cells (Fang et al., 2020, The results contribute to improved regional wavespeed models, particularly the Vp/Vs model, and absolute event locations. The obtained models correlate well with regional geological features and yield more accurate synthetic waveforms than other regional models do for waves with periods shorter than 5 s in much of the modeled region. The derived event catalog exhibits tighter spatial clustering than the standard regional catalog, thereby helping to characterize subsurface features of major faults. The regional 1D averaged Vp/Vs ratio shows high values at shallow depths, decreases to a minimum at about 10 km, then increases again at greater depths below 15 km. Deep seismicity correlates well with regions of Vp/Vs ratio lower than 1.75, which may indicate an increased brittle-to-ductile transition depth with an important influence on crustal mechanics. The new wavespeed models and seismic catalog can be useful for various studies including analyses of seismicity patterns and simulations of crustal deformation and ground motion.

Fang, H., White, M. C., Lu, Y., & Ben-Zion, Y. (2022). Seismic Traveltime Tomography of Southern California Using Poisson-Voronoi Cells and 20 Years of Data. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 127(5). doi: 10.1029/2021JB023307.