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A plan for seismic location calibration of 30 IMS stations in Eastern Asia

LDEO source

In March 2000, a collaborative academic-industry research consortium comprised of five institutions started an integrated series of projects, all with the goal of improving the capability to locate seismic events based on data acquired by International Monitoring System (IMS) stations in Eastern Asia.

The focus of this effort is to develop and deliver validated high-resolution travel time grids for operational use, in support of the location estimates made by the International Data Centre (IDC) of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, for on the order of a hundred events per day at locations around the world. For background information on IMS and IDC, see the paper by Paul G. Richards, Building the Global Seismographic Network for Test Ban Monitoring, EARTHmatters, pp 37 – 40, Fall 1999 (text and graphics, or link to EARTHmatters layout).

In the first project, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University will contribute numerous newly-obtained ground truth locations in Eastern Asia, whose errors are thought to be of the order of five km or better (so-called GT5 events), and that are expected to be large enough for detection at IMS stations, and in most cases recently enough for inclusion in the Reviewed Event Bulletin of the PIDC since 1995. These events in Central Asia, China, Mongolia, Korea, the Indian subcontinent, and Russia, have been located principally on the basis of large numbers of signals recorded by regional networks. Most of these GT5 events will be provided in the first year of work. Lamont personnel on this project include Paul Richards, Won-Young Kim, Vitaly Khalturin, John Armbruster, two research staff yet to be hired, and a graduate student.

In the second project, the University of Wyoming will contribute observed travel times for about 3000 three-component recordings at stations widely deployed in the Soviet era to detect regional waves from 21 nuclear explosions carried out during the Deep Seismic Sounding program. This dataset is an invaluable resource for thorough calibration of major aseismic regions in Russia and Central Asia. We expect to be able to find analog seismograms for several of these 21 nuclear explosions, as recorded at Eastern Asia stations now identified as part of the IMS, or at stations that were operated at sites close to the IMS station locations. Our personnel at the University of Wyoming are Scott Smithson, Elena Morozova, and Igor Morozov.

In the third project, Mission Research Corporation will derive and test travel time surfaces, for IMS stations, that fit the GT data and Calibration Event Bulletin data. The lead person at MRC for us is Mark Fisk.

URS Greiner Woodward Clyde will contribute some ground truth data for India, Nepal, Pakistan, and much 1D and 2D modeling experience; the University of Connecticut will contribute 3D modeling experience. Both these organizations, and Wyoming and Lamont, will work together in Project 4 to provide expected travel times to 30 IMS station locations in Eastern Asia. In this fourth project, detailed studies of a small percentage of our claimed GT5 events will be carried out for purposes of validation of their location quality. The lead person at URS Greiner is Chandan Saikia, and at the University of Connecticut is Vernon Cormier.

Mission Research Corporation will package all of the products of the consortium for delivery to the Center for Monitoring Research in the fifth project, including quantitative evaluation of location improvements.

In the sixth project, an Experts Group Review process will provide overall guidance. In this work, a group of consultants will meet at Lamont for a few days each year, with consortium members, to give advice on GT events, and on how to use phase picks of GT events to provide improved location estimates, for events recorded regionally at IMS stations in East Asia.

Download here a pdf file for the two-day program of the consortium's first "Experts Group Review" meeting, held at Lamont Feb 15 and 16, 2001.

This is a three-year program of work, heavily tilted toward delivery of most GT events and 50% of PNE travel times in the first year, then turning toward modeling and other validation and evaluation efforts in years two and three, as additional GT events continue to accumulate.

RATIONALE

Major users of seismic data include:

  1. the national and international groups now being organized to monitor compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT);
  2. researchers who improve our knowledge of Earth's internal structure and the physics of earthquake processes; and
  3. those engaged in earthquake engineering and earthquake hazard mitigation.

Although the most basic data in seismology for all these users are seismograms, in practice the great majority of those who work with seismic data do not use seismograms directly. Instead they mostly use data products derived from seismograms.

The most important of these products, are bulletins of seismicity.

In the last 20 years there have been enormous improvements in the quality and quantity of seismograms, associated with the development of broadband feedback sensors and techniques of digital recording to permit high dynamic range across wide bands of frequency.

There is ongoing revolutionary improvement in access to seismogram data, as satellite communications and the internet spread even to remote locations.

It has therefore been frustrating to find that the quality of the principal data product derived from seismograms acquired internationally, the global bulletin of seismicity, has not yet seen the types of radical improvement needed by any of the user communities, 1 through 3, above.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) and the International Seismological Centre (ISC) publish their bulletins months to years in arrears, using volunteered data, and methods of analysis that essentially have not changed for sixty years. These are very useful bulletins, and their quality has greatly improved because of the increased number of reported signal detections.

The Reviewed Event Bulletin (REB) of the CTBT monitoring community, produced since 1995 January 01 by GSETT-3 and the PIDC and now by the IDC in Vienna, is vastly improved over the other global bulletins in its timeliness of publication. However, both the REB location estimates, and the estimates of their uncertainty (error ellipses), require improvement.

It appears that the principal reason for inaccuracies in the REB locations is lack of a sufficiently good model of Earth structure, and specifically of travel time information. It is desirable to calibrate each IMS station so that in effect the location of a new event can be located with reference to another event, whose location is known accurately and which, preferably, is not far from the new event. By using a sufficiently large number of calibration events, whose location is accurately known and whose signals are detected reliably at IMS stations, it is possible to generate a station-based travel time surface (a function of distance and azimuth), for each seismic phase.

As noted in the report of the first Oslo Workshop on IMS Location Calibration (January 1999, which led to the paper CTBT/WGB/TL - 2/18):

  • "such calibration is necessary in order to significantly improve the location precision of internationally reporting earthquake agencies,"
  • "no attempt has so far been made to include such corrections in routine location processing on a global scale."

Our consortium project will carry out such an approach to calibration for 30 IMS stations.

SUMMARY OF METHOD

The IMS stations in East Asia which are the subject of this project, are listed in Table 1 with station coordinates as originally given in Annex 1 to the CTBT Protocol. Not all of these sites currently have operational IMS stations. However, is some such cases there are non-IMS stations which are operating at or near the IMS site, and in other cases stations have operated in the past, near the IMS site. In general we refer to such non-IMS stations as surrogate stations, and their data can potentially be used to assist in building up the necessary station-based travel-time data set for purposes of obtaining the types of travel-time surface needed at the IDC for every IMS station site.

 

Table 1. The list of 30 IMS stations for which calibration will be carried out in this project.
IMS codeCountryStation namelatitudelongitude

PS12

China

Hailar

49.27

119.74

PS13

China

Lanzhou

36.09

103.84

PS23

Kazakstan

Makanchi

46.80

82.00

PS25

Mongolia

Javhlant

47.99

106.77

PS29

Pakistan

Pari

33.65

73.25

PS31

Republic of Korea

Wonju

37.50

127.90

PS33

Russian Federation

Zalesovo

53.94

84.81

PS34

Russian Federation

Norilsk

69.40

88.10

PS35

Russian Federation

Peleduy

59.63

112.70

PS37

Russian Federation

Ussuriysk

44.28

132.08

PS41

Thailand

Chiang Mai

18.80

99.00

AS7

Bangladesh

Chittagong

22.40

91.80

AS20

China

Baijiatuan

40.02

116.17

AS21

China

Kunming

25.15

102.75

AS22

China

Sheshan

31.10

121.19

AS23

China

Xi'an

34.04

108.92

AS57

Kazakstan

Borovoye

53.06

70.28

AS58

Kazakstan

Kurchatov

50.72

78.62

AS59

Kazakstan

Aktyubinsk

50.40

58.00

AS60

Kyrgyzstan

Ala-Archa

42.64

74.49

AS68

Nepal

Everest

27.96

86.82

AS86

Russian Federation

Seymchan

62.93

152.37

AS87

Russian Federation

Talaya

51.68

103.64

AS88

Russian Federation

Yakutsk

62.01

129.43

AS89

Russian Federation

Urgal

51.10

132.36

AS90

Russian Federation

Bilibino

68.04

166.37

AS91

Russian Federation

Tiksi

71.66

128.87

AS92

Russian Federation

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

46.95

142.75

AS93

Russian Federation

Magadan

59.58

150.78

AS100

Sri Lanka

Colombo

6.90

79.90

 

Table 2 lists our present knowledge of the availability of data at each of the 30 IMS sites in Table 1, whether or not there is an IMS station currently operating at the site. In the case where no IMs station is operating, we list some appropriate surrogate stations.

Our basic approach, will be to acquire lists of reliably located seismic events in Eastern Asia, preferably occurring since the beginning of publication of the REB on January 1, 1995, and large enough to be included in the REB. From such events, preferably of GT5 quality or better, we shall obtain the picked arrival times at IMS stations and thus build up a set of station-based travel-times for events of accurately known location.

Table 2. Summary of 30 IMS sites, operating IMS stations, and surrogate stations, useful for acquiring phase picks and waveforms for the 30 East Asian stations in Table 1.
CodePhase dataDigital waveform dataAnalog waveform data

IMS

ISC

PIDC

OperatorOperationSource

HIA

HIA

CDSN

1986/07-

DMC/IDC

LZH

LZH

CDSN

1986/06-

DMC

MAK

KZ/GSN

1994/07-

LDEO

JAVM

ULN

ULN

GSN (ULN)

1994/11-

DMC

PRPK

NIL

NIL

GSN (NIL)

1994/12-

DMC

KSRS

KSAR

KIGAM

1995/01-

IDC/KIGAM

ZAL

NVS,ELT

ZAL

IDC (ZAL), LDEO (ELT)

1995/01 (1998/08-, ELT)

IDC, ZAL (LDEO, ELT)

NRI

NRI

NRI

GSN (NRIL)

1992/12-

DMC/IDC

1964-, Obninsk

PDY

BOD

PDY

IDC

1995/01-

IDC

USK

VLA

CDSN (MDJ) 1986/10-

DMC

CMTO

CHG,CHTO

GSN (CHTO)

1992/09-

DMC

CHT

SHL,HOW

GSN (SHIO)

DMC

HOW, SHL WWSSN LDEO

BJT

PEK,BJI

BJT

CDSN (BJI)

1986/07-

DMC

KMI

KMI

CDSN (KMI)

1986/06-

DMC

SSE

SSE

CDSN (SSE)

1986/06-

DMC

XAN

XAN

CDSN (XAN)

1992/11-

DMC

BRVK

KZ/GSN

1994/07-

LDEO

KURK

KZ/GSN

1994/07-

LDEO

AKTO

KZ

1994/09-

LDEO

AAK

FRU

GSN (AAK)

1990/10-

DMC

EVN

DMN,KKN

1991/06-11

ING

SEY

SEY

GSRAS/GS (SEY)

1990/09-

DMC/GS

1969- Magadan

TLY

IRK

GSRAS/GSN (TLY)

1990/10-

DMC

1964- Irkutsk

YAK

YAK

YAK

GSRAS/GSN (YAK)

1993/08-

DMC

URG

Sogda 75/01-76/10 CSE

BIL

ILT

GSRAS/GSN (BIL)

1995/08-

DMC

Bilibino 64- Magadan

TIXI

TIK

GSRAS/GSN (TIXI)

1995/08-

DMC

1964- Obninsk

YSS

YSS

GSRAS/GSN (YSS)

1992/05-

DMC

MA2

MAG,MGD

GSRAS/GSN (MA2)

1993/09-

DMC

1964- Magadan

COC

KOD

AWRE (GBA)

KOD 1964-'90 WWSSN LDEO

 

Code - IMS: station code listed on Annex 1, CTBT Protocol, September 1996

Phase data - ISC and PIDC (phase data are available from these stations of the ISC and PIDC).

Operators of digital stations, often part of joint programs, are:

GSN = Global Seismographic Network;

CDSN = Chinese Digital Seismographic Network;

KZ = Kazakstan Broadband Seismographic Network (NNC-RK/LDEO);

GS = GeoScope;

GSRAS = Geophysical Survey, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Data sources are:

IDC = International Data Centre for IMS;

DMC = IRIS Data Management Center

ING = The National Institute of Geophysics, Italy.

The AWRE operation of GBA has ended, with this station handed over to local operation, but much relevant data for this array is easily available.

For each major set of event locations that we plan to use for IMS station calibration, an extensive validation effort will be made. We plan to do this by acquiring waveform data and phase-pick data for a subset of the events, from as many stations as possible. From such data we shall make our own location estimates, including waveform studies of the depth, in order to validate our conclusions as to the quality of the locations.

For the major aseismic areas of Eastern Asia (for example, for much of the northern part of this region, which is in Russia), such an approach cannot be used. However, we are fortunate in that major reflection/refraction profiles were carried out in this region during the Soviet era, in the Deep Seismic Sounding program (DSS). Table 3 lists the DSS data which will be analysed in our consortium project by the University of Wyoming -- subject to the availability of the RUBY profiles (copies of the other data are in hand, and the RUBY data are likely to be acquired shortly). From such arrival time picks, and searches of the literature, it is possible to generate 2D and 3D regional models and hence travel-times to the IMS station sites.

Table 3. 19 PNEs and two weapons test site explosions in the proposed database; numbers of 3-component recordings; and data delivery schedule. Column 2 for the four RUBY shots, gives the numbers of 3C stations in each of the two RUBY profiles. These data will be analysed by the University of Wyoming. Digital data are now in hand, with the exception of profiles RUBY-1 and RUBY-2. Much of the work of checking station locations and arrival-time picking will be done in the first 12 months of the project.

Explosion name

Number of 3-component recordings after editingDelivery date of travel-time data, after start of the projectDelivery date of signal-to-noise ratios, velocity, amplitude data, spectral ratios after start of the project

QUARTZ-2

316

3 months

21 months

QUARTZ-3

290

QUARTZ-4

245

CRATON-1

126

7 months

24 months

CRATON-2

218

CRATON-3

198

CRATON-4

194

KIMBERLITE-1

162

11 months

KIMBERLITE-3

215

KIMBERLITE-4

185

RIFT-1

192

15 months

27 months

RIFT-3

122

RIFT-4

154

METEORITE-2

130

18 months

METEORITE-3

74

METEORITE-4

82

METEORITE-5

49

RUBY-1

218+123

21 months

30 months

RUBY-2

87+151

KAZ 1 (RUBY)

103+29

KAZ 2 (RUBY)

25+54

 

We note that a sophisticated modeling effort is the only way to set up the required travel time grid for each IMS station, in two important cases: from large aseismic regions; and to IMS station locations where no station or nearby surrogate now exists. But we are well aware that it would be inappropriate for the IDC to rely for its monitoring operations on purely 3D calculations in a 3D model. Therefore we shall make great efforts to search for appropriate validation, to the extent possible, of any predicted effects on travel times caused by 3D structure. It is here that a search for data from old analog stations can play a key role. We are familiar with analog stations all over the former Soviet Union which operated during the period 1965 — 1990 at locations that were selected in 1996 to become the sites of modern instrumentation (IMS); and we plan to track down old data from these stations, and to work with scientists in Russia and Central Asia to analyse them. This work will bring together old analog data at fixed stations, the special DSS field data, modern waveform data, and the full sophistication of modeling in 1D, 2D, and 3D structures.

Download here a pdf file for a paper submitted July 2000 to the New Orleans CTBT monitoring symposium.
Download here a pdf file for the two-day program of the consortium's first "Experts Group Review" meeting, held at Lamont Feb 15 and 16, 2001.
Download here a pdf file for the abstract submitted July 2001 for the Jackson Hole monitoring symposium.
Download here a pdf file for the paper submitted July 2001 for the Jackson Hole monitoring symposium of Sept 2001.
Download here a 7 Mb pdf file (100 pages) giving the basis for SSSCs presented to the CCB in May 2002.
Download here the CCB proposal approved May 23 2002, for Pn SSSCs of 14 IMS stations in East Asia.
Download here a pdf file for the paper submitted July 2002 for the Ponte Vedra monitoring symposium held September 2002.
Download here a 3Mb pdf file (zoomable) of our poster (shown here as a jpeg) for the Ponte Vedra meeting (the poster was composed by David Schaff).
Download here a pdf file for Richards' invited talk "A subjective overview of 24 papers on Seismic Detection and Location" given Sept 19, 2002 at Ponte Vedra, FL.
Download here a pdf file for Richards' invited colloquium "Earthquake Location Location Location" given Sept 27, 2002 at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

In this Lamont colloquium, an effort is made to explain model error, SSSCs, pick error, and cross-correlation for a general audience; and to show what can be achieved (with examples from David Schaff's Stanford Ph. D. thesis) when model error and pick error are minimized.

 
 
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