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Sci Rep. 2016 May 17;6:25744. doi: 10.1038/srep25744.

Automated microseismic event location using Master-Event Waveform Stacking.

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National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS), Trieste, Italy.
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany.
School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia.
Department of Physics, University of Naples, Italy.
Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.


Accurate and automated locations of microseismic events are desirable for many seismological and industrial applications. The analysis of microseismicity is particularly challenging because of weak seismic signals with low signal-to-noise ratio. Traditional location approaches rely on automated picking, based on individual seismograms, and make no use of the coherency information between signals at different stations. This strong limitation has been overcome by full-waveform location methods, which exploit the coherency of waveforms at different stations and improve the location robustness even in presence of noise. However, the performance of these methods strongly depend on the accuracy of the adopted velocity model, which is often quite rough; inaccurate models result in large location errors. We present an improved waveform stacking location method based on source-specific station corrections. Our method inherits the advantages of full-waveform location methods while strongly mitigating the dependency on the accuracy of the velocity model. With this approach the influence of an inaccurate velocity model on the results is restricted to the estimation of travel times solely within the seismogenic volume, but not for the entire source-receiver path. We finally successfully applied our new method to a realistic synthetic dataset as well as real data.

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