Imaging the subsurface using induced seismicity and ambient noise: 3-D tomographic Monte Carlo joint inversion of earthquake body wave traveltimes and surface wave dispersion

Xin Zhang, Corinna Roy, Andrew Curtis, Andy Nowacki, Brian Baptie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Seismic body wave traveltime tomography and surface wave dispersion tomography have been used widely to characterize earthquakes and to study the subsurface structure of the Earth. Since these types of problem are often significantly non-linear and have non-unique solutions, Markov chain Monte Carlo methods have been used to find probabilistic solutions. Body and surface wave data are usually inverted separately to produce independent velocity models. However, body wave tomography is generally sensitive to structure around the subvolume in which earthquakes occur and produces limited resolution in the shallower Earth, whereas surface wave tomography is often sensitive to shallower structure. To better estimate subsurface properties, we therefore jointly invert for the seismic velocity structure and earthquake locations using body and surface wave data simultaneously. We apply the new joint inversion method to a mining site in the United Kingdom at which induced seismicity occurred and was recorded on a small local network of stations, and where ambient noise recordings are available from the same stations. The ambient noise is processed to obtain inter-receiver surface wave dispersion measurements which are inverted jointly with body wave arrival times from local earthquakes. The results show that by using both types of data, the earthquake source parameters and the velocity structure can be better constrained than in independent inversions. To further understand and interpret the results, we conduct synthetic tests to compare the results from body wave inversion and joint inversion. The results show that trade-offs between source parameters and velocities appear to bias results if only body wave data are used, but this issue is largely resolved by using the joint inversion method. Thus the use of ambient seismic noise and our fully non-linear inversion provides a valuable, improved method to image the subsurface velocity and seismicity.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1639–1655
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
Early online date9 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020

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