A Bayesian method for microseismic source inversion

Pugh, David and White, R. S. and Christie, P. A. F. (2016) A Bayesian method for microseismic source inversion. Geophysical Journal International, 206 (2). pp. 1009-1038. ISSN ISSN: 0956-540X, ESSN: 1365-246X DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggw186

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Earthquake source inversion is highly dependent on location determination and velocity models. Uncertainties in both the model parameters and the observations need to be rigorously incorporated into an inversion approach. Here, we show a probabilistic Bayesian method that allows formal inclusion of the uncertainties in the moment tensor inversion. This method allows the combination of different sets of far-field observations, such as P-wave and S-wave polarities and amplitude ratios, into one inversion. Additional observations can be included by deriving a suitable likelihood function from the uncertainties. This inversion produces samples from the source posterior probability distribution, including a best-fitting solution for the source mechanism and associated probability. The inversion can be constrained to the double-couple space or allowed to explore the gamut of moment tensor solutions, allowing volumetric and other non-double-couple components. The posterior probability of the double-couple and full moment tensor source models can be evaluated from the Bayesian evidence, using samples from the likelihood distributions for the two source models, producing an estimate of whether or not a source is double-couple. Such an approach is ideally suited to microseismic studies where there are many sources of uncertainty and it is often difficult to produce reliability estimates of the source mechanism, although this can be true of many other cases. Using full-waveform synthetic seismograms, we also show the effects of noise, location, network distribution and velocity model uncertainty on the source probability density function. The noise has the largest effect on the results, especially as it can affect other parts of the event processing. This uncertainty can lead to erroneous non-double-couple source probability distributions, even when no other uncertainties exist. Although including amplitude ratios can improve the constraint on the source probability distribution, the measurements are often systematically affected by noise, leading to deviation from their noise-free true values and consequently adversely affecting the source probability distribution, especially for the full moment tensor model. As an example of the application of this method, four events from the Krafla volcano in Iceland are inverted, which show clear differentiation between non-double-couple and double-couple sources, reflected in the posterior probability distributions for the source models.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2016AREP; IA70; cml;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
08 - Green Open Access
10 - Explosive Earth
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysical Journal International
Volume: 206
Page Range: pp. 1009-1038
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggw186
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2016 12:14
Last Modified: 31 May 2017 11:15
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3602

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