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Effects of Shallow-Velocity Reductions on 3D Propagation of Seismic Waves

Alan Juarez, & Yehuda Ben-Zion

Published August 26, 2020, SCEC Contribution #10900

We perform 3D simulations of seismic wavefields to clarify effects of strong reductions of shallow velocities on long‐period seismic waves. The simulations use a reference Community Velocity Model of southern California and a modified version with strong velocity reductions in the top 500 m of the Los Angeles basin. Differences between wavefields generated by 10 earthquakes in the reference and perturbed models are analyzed. Velocity changes are estimated by measuring relative time shifts between reference and perturbed seismograms using wavelet cross‐correlation spectra. The results indicate that strong localized temporal velocity drops near the surface, such as those observed during strong ground motions, may generate regional perturbations of wavefields at periods up to 20 s. These perturbations may be misinterpreted as generated by temporal changes at seismogenic depths. The results also have important implications for waveform tomography studies.

Juarez, A., & Ben-Zion, Y. (2020). Effects of Shallow-Velocity Reductions on 3D Propagation of Seismic Waves. Seismological Research Letters, 91(6), 3313-3322. doi: 10.1785/0220200183.