On The Efficiency of P‐Wave Coda Autocorrelation in Recovering Crustal Structure: Examples From Dense Arrays in the Eastern United States




Wang, Chuang
Tauzin, Benoit
Pham, Son
Tkalčić, Hrvoje

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Wiley Blackwell


Due to a sharp contrast in elastic properties across the basement rocks of sedimentary basins (SBs), strong reverberations are generated during the passage of seismic waves. Traditional receiver function methods become inadequate for imaging crustal structure due to the existence of these strong reverberations. We investigate the feasibility of an autocorrelation technique to extract vertical component receiver functions from teleseismic earthquake data and the efficiency of the method to image the crustal architecture in presence of a SB. The method involves spectral whitening followed by autocorrelation and stacking in the depth domain. We show promising results when using temporary seismic networks in the eastern United States. Using synthetic and field-data examples, we demonstrate that vertical autocorrelations are more efficient than classical radial receiver functions for interpretation purposes in an SB context. We also perform a joint analysis of the amplitudes on radial and vertical receiver functions for characterizing the thickness of the Mohorovicˇic ́ discontinuity (Moho). We find that the Moho in the eastern United States is a transitional layer (up to 5-km thick) instead of a sharp boundary. Further, we point out that it is challenging to unambiguously pick and interpret reflected phases on autocorrelations because of the effects of reverberations, cross-mode contaminations, and a narrow frequency band limiting the resolution of velocity gradients. We therefore send a message of caution for future interpretations based on this technique.






Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth


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