A High-Resolution View of Global Seismicity

Monday, 15 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Felix Waldhauser and David Paul Schaff, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, United States
We present high-precision earthquake relocation results from our global-scale re-analysis of the combined seismic archives of parametric data for the years 1964 to present from the International Seismological Centre (ISC), the USGS’s Earthquake Data Report (EDR), and selected waveform data from IRIS. We employed iterative, multistep relocation procedures that initially correct for large location errors present in standard global earthquake catalogs, followed by a simultaneous inversion of delay times formed from regional and teleseismic arrival times of first and later arriving phases. An efficient multi-scale double-difference (DD) algorithm is used to solve for relative event locations to the precision of a few km or less, while incorporating information on absolute hypocenter locations from catalogs such as EHB and GEM. We run the computations on both a 40-core cluster geared towards HTC problems (data processing) and a 500-core HPC cluster for data inversion. Currently, we are incorporating waveform correlation delay time measurements available for events in selected regions, but are continuously building up a comprehensive, global correlation database for densely distributed events recorded at stations with a long history of high-quality waveforms. The current global DD catalog includes nearly one million earthquakes, equivalent to approximately 70% of the number of events in the ISC/EDR catalogs initially selected for relocation. The relocations sharpen the view of seismicity in most active regions around the world, in particular along subduction zones where event density is high, but also along mid-ocean ridges where existing hypocenters are especially poorly located. The new data offers the opportunity to investigate earthquake processes and fault structures along entire plate boundaries at the ~km scale, and provides a common framework that facilitates analysis and comparisons of findings across different plate boundary systems.