3-D Velocity Model of the Coachella Valley, Southern California Based on Explosive Shots from the Salton Seismic Imaging Project

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Patricia Persaud1,2, Joann M Stock1, Gary S Fuis3, John A Hole4, Mark Goldman3 and Daniel S Scheirer3, (1)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Pomona, CA, United States, (3)US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, United States, (4)Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, United States
We have analyzed explosive shot data from the 2011 Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP) across a 2-D seismic array and 5 profiles in the Coachella Valley to produce a 3-D P-wave velocity model that will be used in calculations of strong ground shaking. Accurate maps of seismicity and active faults rely both on detailed geological field mapping and a suitable velocity model to accurately locate earthquakes. Adjoint tomography of an older version of the SCEC 3-D velocity model shows that crustal heterogeneities strongly influence seismic wave propagation from moderate earthquakes (Tape et al., 2010). These authors improve the crustal model and subsequently simulate the details of ground motion at periods of 2 s and longer for hundreds of ray paths. Even with improvements such as the above, the current SCEC velocity model for the Salton Trough does not provide a match of the timing or waveforms of the horizontal S-wave motions, which Wei et al. (2013) interpret as caused by inaccuracies in the shallow velocity structure. They effectively demonstrate that the inclusion of shallow basin structure improves the fit in both travel times and waveforms.

Our velocity model benefits from the inclusion of known location and times of a subset of 126 shots detonated over a 3-week period during the SSIP. This results in an improved velocity model particularly in the shallow crust. In addition, one of the main challenges in developing 3-D velocity models is an uneven stations-source distribution. To better overcome this challenge, we also include the first arrival times of the SSIP shots at the more widely spaced Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN) in our inversion, since the layout of the SSIP is complementary to the SCSN.


Tape, C., et al., 2010, Seismic tomography of the Southern California crust based on spectral-element and adjoint methods: Geophysical Journal International, v. 180, no. 1, p. 433-462.

Wei, S., et al., 2013, Complementary slip distributions of the largest earthquakes in the 2012 Brawley swarm, Imperial Valley, California: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 40, no. 5, p. 847-852.