Application of Subspace Detection to the 6 November 2011 M5.6 Prague, Oklahoma Aftershock Sequence

Friday, 18 December 2015: 08:15
307 (Moscone South)
Nicole D McMahon1,2, Harley Benz2, Caryl E Johnson3, Richard C Aster1 and Daniel E McNamara2, (1)Colorado State University, Geosciences Department, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (2)USGS National Earthquake Information Center Golden, Golden, CO, United States, (3)Introspective Systems LLC, Portland, ME, United States
Subspace detection is a powerful tool for the identification of small seismic events. Subspace detectors improve upon single-event matched filtering techniques by using multiple orthogonal waveform templates whose linear combinations characterize a range of observed signals from previously identified earthquakes. Subspace detectors running on multiple stations can significantly increasing the number of locatable events, lowering the catalog’s magnitude of completeness and thus providing extraordinary detail on the kinematics of the aftershock process.

The 6 November 2011 M5.6 earthquake near Prague, Oklahoma is the largest earthquake instrumentally recorded in Oklahoma history and the largest earthquake resultant from deep wastewater injection. A M4.8 foreshock on 5 November 2011 and the M5.6 mainshock triggered tens of thousands of detectable aftershocks along a 20 km splay of the Wilzetta Fault Zone known as the Meeker-Prague fault. In response to this unprecedented earthquake, 21 temporary seismic stations were deployed surrounding the seismic activity.

We utilized a catalog of 767 previously located aftershocks to construct subspace detectors for the 21 temporary and 10 closest permanent seismic stations. Subspace detection identified more than 500,000 new arrival-time observations, which associated into more than 20,000 locatable earthquakes. The associated earthquakes were relocated using the Bayesloc multiple-event locator, resulting in ~7,000 earthquakes with hypocentral uncertainties of less than 500 m. The relocated seismicity provides unique insight into the spatio-temporal evolution of the aftershock sequence along the Wilzetta Fault Zone and its associated structures. We find that the crystalline basement and overlying sedimentary Arbuckle formation accommodate the majority of aftershocks. While we observe aftershocks along the entire 20 km length of the Meeker-Prague fault, the vast majority of earthquakes were confined to a 9 km wide by 9 km deep surface striking N54°E and dipping 83° to the northwest near the junction of the splay with the main Wilzetta fault structure. Relocated seismicity shows off-fault stress-related interaction to distances of 10 km or more from the mainshock, including clustered seismicity to the northwest and southeast of the mainshock.