A review of the techniques underlying the basic analysis of local and regional earthquakes is presented, describing modern methods for earthquake location, velocity inversion, and fault plane solution. These three topics require a method for ray tracing, determining the seismic ray path connecting the earthquake source to the observing station. A basic introduction to common ray tracing techniques is presented. Earthquake location based on Geiger's method remains the most common in use. Our understanding of this fundamental problem has been enhanced by a variety of studies, and by progress in geophysical inverse theory, but difficulties with the method remain. Alternatives to Geiger's method are reviewed to emphasize the continuing need for study of earthquake location techniques. The more complex problem of simultaneous inversion is receiving increasing attention. Algorithms have been developed to deal with a wide range of velocity structures, including layered, continuous one‐dimensional, and three‐dimensional models. Modern techniques for manipulating and transforming large matrix equations have been critical to the success of simultaneous inversion. Finally, methods for determining fault plane solutions are reviewed, such as first motion, amplitude ratio, and polarization, and techniques are discussed for inferring stress orientation from sets of focal mechanisms.
Reviews of Geophysics – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 1986
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