Sensitivity analysis of the backprojection imaging method for seismic event location
Accuracy of earthquake location methods is dependent upon the quality of input data. In the real world, several sources of uncertainty, such as incorrect velocity models, low Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), and poor coverage, affect the solution. Furthermore, some complex seismic signals exist without distinguishable phases for which conventional location methods are not applicable. In this work, we conducted a sensitivity analysis of Back-Projection Imaging (BPI), which is a technique suitable for location of conventional seismicity, induced seismicity, and tremor-like signals. We performed a study where synthetic data is modelled as fixed spectrum explosive sources. The purpose of using such simplified signals is to fully understand the mechanics of the location method in controlled scenarios, where each parameter can be freely perturbed to ensure that their individual effects are shown separately on the outcome. The results suggest the need for data conditioning such as noise removal to improve image resolution and minimize artifacts. Processing lower frequency signal increases stability, while higher frequencies improve accuracy. In addition, a good azimuthal coverage reduces the spatial location error of seismic events, where, according to our findings, depth is the most sensitive spatial coordinate to velocity and geometry changes.
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