Determination of Focal Mechanisms of Non-Volcanic Tremors Based on S-Wave Polarization Data Corrected for the Effects of Anisotropy
Abstract:We propose a method to determine focal mechanisms of non-volcanic tremors (NVTs) based on S-wave polarization angles. The successful retrieval of polarization angles in low S/N tremor signals owes much to the observation that NVTs propagate slowly and therefore they do not change their location immediately. This feature of NVTs enables us to use a longer window to compute a polarization angle (e.g., one minute or longer), resulting in a stack of particle motions. Following Zhang and Schwartz (1994), we first correct for the splitting effect to recover the source polarization angle (anisotropy-corrected angle). This is a key step, because shear-wave splitting distorts the particle motion excited by a seismic source. We then determine the best double-couple solution using anisotropy-corrected angles of multiple stations. The present method was applied to a tremor sequence at Kii Peninsula, southwest Japan, which occurred at the beginning of April 2013. A standard splitting and polarization analysis were subject to a one-minute-long moving window to determine the splitting parameters as well as anisotropy-corrected angles. A grid search approach was performed at each hour to determine the best double-couple solution satisfying one-hour average polarization angles. Most solutions show NW-dipping low-angle planes consistent with the plate boundary or SE-dipping high-angle planes. Because of 180 degrees ambiguity in polarization angles, the present method alone cannot distinguish compressional quadrant from dilatational one. Together with the observation of very low-frequency earthquakes near the present study area (Ito et al., 2007), it is reasonable to consider that they represent shear slip on low-angle thrust faults. It is also noted that some of solutions contain strike-slip component.
Acknowledgements: Seismograph stations used in this study include permanent stations operated by NIED (Hi-net), JMA, Earthquake Research Institute, together with Geological Survey of Japan, AIST. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 24540463.