Implementation of the Waveform Correlation Event Detection System (WCEDS) Method for Regional Seismic Event Detection in Utah

Arrowsmith, Stephen and Young, Christopher and Pankow, Kristine
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 108(6): 3548-3561, 2018

Backprojection techniques are a class of methods for detecting and locating events that have been successfully implemented at local scales for dense networks. This article develops the framework for applying a backprojection method to detect and locate a range of event sizes across a heteorogeneous regional network. This article extends previous work on the development of a backprojection method for local and regional seismic event detection, the Waveform Correlation Event Detection System (WCEDS). The improvements outlined here make the technique much more flexible for regional earthquake or explosion monitoring. We first explore how the backprojection operator can be formulated using either a travel‐time model or a stack of full waveforms, showing that the former approach is much more flexible and can lead to the detection of smaller events, and to significant improvements in the resolution of event parameters. Second, we discuss the factors that influence the grid of event hypotheses used for backprojection, and develop an algorithm for generating suitable grids for networks with variable density. Third, we explore the effect of including different phases in the backprojection operator, showing that the best results for the study region can be obtained using only the Pg phase, and by including terms for penalizing early arrivals when evaluating the fit for a given event hypothesis. Fourth, we incorporate two parallel backprojection computations with different distance thresholds to enable the robust detection of both network‐wide and small (sub‐network‐only) events. The set of improvements are outlined by applying WCEDS to four example events on the University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS) network.