From craton to rift: Empirically based ground-truth criteria for local events recorded on regional networks

K. B. Boomer, R. A. Brazier, J. P. O'Donnell, A. A. Nyblade, J. Kokoska, S. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Region-specific empirically based ground-truth (EBGT) criteria used to estimate the epicentral-location accuracy of seismic events have been developed for the Main Ethiopian Rift and the Tibetan plateau. Explosions recorded during the Ethiopia-Afar Geoscientific Lithospheric Experiment (EAGLE), the International Deep Profiling of Tibet, and the Himalaya (INDEPTH III) experiment provided the necessary GT0 reference events. In each case, the local crustal structure is well known and handpicked arrival times were available, facilitating the establishment of the location accuracy criteria through the stochastic forward modeling of arrival times for epicentral locations. In the vicinity of the Main Ethiopian Rift, a seismic event is required to be recorded on at least 8 stations within the local Pg=Pn crossover distance and to yield a network-quality metric of less than 0.43 in order to be classified as EBGT595%; (GT5 with 95% confidence). These criteria were subsequently used to identify 10 new GT5 events with magnitudes greater than 2.1 recorded on the Ethiopian Broadband Seismic Experiment (EBSE) network and 24 events with magnitudes greater than 2.4 recorded on the EAGLE broadband network. The criteria for the Tibetan plateau are similar to the Ethiopia criteria, yet slightly less restrictive as the network-quality metric needs to be less than 0.45. Twenty-seven seismic events with magnitudes greater than 2.5 recorded on the INDEPTH III network were identified as GT5 based on the derived criteria. When considered in conjunction with criteria developed previously for the Kaapvaal craton in southern Africa, it is apparent that increasing restrictions on the network-quality metric mirror increases in the complexity of geologic structure from craton to plateau to rift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2295-2304
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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