Direct ambient noise tomography for 3-D near surface shear velocity structure: methodology and applications

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 11:50 AM
Huajian Yao1, Hongjian Fang1, Cheng Li1, Ying Liu1, Haijiang Zhang1, Robert D van der Hilst2 and Yu-Chih Huang3, (1)University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China, (2)Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States, (3)Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
Ambient noise tomography has provided essential constraints on crustal and uppermost mantle shear velocity structure in global seismology. Recent studies demonstrate that high frequency (e.g., ~ 1 Hz) surface waves between receivers at short distances can be successfully retrieved from ambient noise cross-correlation and then be used for imaging near surface or shallow crustal shear velocity structures. This approach provides important information for strong ground motion prediction in seismically active area and overburden structure characterization in oil and gas fields. Here we propose a new tomographic method to invert all surface wave dispersion data for 3-D variations of shear wavespeed without the intermediate step of phase or group velocity maps.The method uses frequency-dependent propagation paths and a wavelet-based sparsity-constrained tomographic inversion. A fast marching method is used to compute, at each period, surface wave traveltimes and ray paths between sources and receivers. This avoids the assumption of great-circle propagation that is used in most surface wave tomographic studies, but which is not appropriate in complex media. The wavelet coefficients of the velocity model are estimated with an iteratively reweighted least squares (IRLS) algorithm, and upon iterations the surface wave ray paths and the data sensitivity matrix are updated from the newly obtained velocity model. We apply this new method to determine the 3-D near surface wavespeed variations in the Taipei basin of Taiwan, Hefei urban area and a shale and gas production field in China using the high-frequency interstation Rayleigh wave dispersion data extracted from ambient noisecross-correlation. The results reveal strong effects of off-great-circle propagation of high-frequency surface waves in these regions with above 30% shear wavespeed variations. The proposed approach is more efficient and robust than the traditional two-step surface wave tomography for imaging complex structures. In the future, approximate 3-D sensitivity kernels for dispersion data will be incorporated to account for finite-frequency effect of surface wave propagation. In addition, our approach provides a consistent framework for joint inversion of surface wave dispersion and body wave traveltime data for 3-D Vp and Vs structures.