Attenuation and source properties at the Coso Geothermal Area, California

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Journal Article: Attenuation and source properties at the Coso Geothermal Area, California

We use a multiple-empirical Green's function method to determine source properties of small (M −0.4 to 1.3) earthquakes and P- and S-wave attenuation at the Coso Geothermal Field, California. Source properties of a previously identified set of clustered events from the Coso geothermal region are first analyzed using an empirical Green's function (EGF) method. Stress-drop values of at least 0.5-1 MPa are inferred for all of the events; in many cases, the corner frequency is outside the usable bandwidth, and the stress drop can only be constrained as being higher than 3 MPa. P- and S-wave stress-drop estimates are identical to the resolution limits of the data. These results are indistinguishable from numerous EGF studies of M 2-5 earthquakes, suggesting a similarity in rupture processes that extends to events that are both tiny and induced, providing further support for Byerlee's Law. Whole-path Q estimates for P and S waves are determined using the multiple-empirical Green's function (MEGF) method of Hough (1997), whereby spectra from clusters of colocated events at a given station are inverted for a single attenuation parameter, κ, with source parameters constrained from EGF analysis. The κ estimates, which we infer to be resolved to within 0.01 sec or better, exhibit almost as much scatter as a function of hypocentral distance as do values from previous single-spectrum studies for which much higher uncertainties in individual κ estimates are expected. The variability in κ estimates determined here therefore suggests real lateral variability in Q structure. Although the ray-path coverage is too sparse to yield a complete three-dimensional attenuation tomographic image, we invert the inferred κ value for three-dimensional structure using a damped least-squares method, and the results do reveal significant lateral variability in Q structure. The inferred attenuation variability corresponds to the heat-flow variations within the geothermal region. A central low-Q region corresponds well with the central high-heat flow region; additional detailed structure is also suggested.

Hough, S.E.; Lees, J.M.; Monastero and F.  

Published Journal 
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 12/1/1999

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Hough, S.E.; Lees, J.M.; Monastero, F.  . 12/1/1999. Attenuation and source properties at the Coso Geothermal Area, California. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. (!) .

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