Lg Attenuation of the Western United States

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 8:00 AM
Andrea C Gallegos1, Nishath R Ranasinghe1, James Ni2 and Eric A Sandvol3, (1)New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, United States, (2)New Mexico State University Main Campus, Las Cruces, NM, United States, (3)Univ Missouri Columbia, Columbia, MO, United States
Lg waveforms recorded by EarthScope's Transportable Array (TA) are used to estimate Lg Q in the Western United States (WUS). Attenuation is calculated based on Lg spectral amplitudes filtered at a narrow band from 0.5 to 1.5 Hz with a central frequency of 1 Hz. The two-station and reverse two-station techniques were used to calculate Qo values. 398 events occurring from 2005 to 2009 and ranging from magnitude 3 to magnitude 6 were used in this study. The geometric spreading term can be determined by using a three-dimensional linear fit of the amplitude ratios versus epicentral distances to two stations. The slope of this line provides the geometric spreading term we use to calculate Lg Qo values of WUS. The results show high Q regions (low attenuation) corresponding to the Colorado Plateau (CP), the Rocky Mountains (RM), the Columbia Plateau (COP), and the Sierra Nevada Mountains (SNM). Regions of low Q (high attenuation) are seen along the Snake River Plain (SRP), the Rio Grande Rift (RGR), the Cascade Mountains (CM), and in east and west of the Basin and Range (BR) where tectonic activity is more active than the central part of the BR. A positive correlation between high heat flow, recent tectonic activity and Q was observed. Areas with low heat flow, thin sediment cover, and no recent tectonic activity were observed to have consistently high Q. These new models use two-station and reversed two-station methods and provide a comparison with previous studies and better constrain regions with high attenuation. This increase in detail can improve high frequency ground motion predictions of future large earthquakes for more accurate hazard assessment and improve overall understanding of the structure and assemblage of the WUS.