Precise relative locations for earthquakes in the northeast Pacific region

K. Michael Cleveland, Thomas F. VanDeMark, Charles J. Ammon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Double-difference methods applied to cross-correlation measured Rayleigh wave time shifts are an effective tool to improve epicentroid locations and relative origin time shifts in remote regions. We apply these methods to seismicity offshore of southwestern Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, occurring along the boundaries of the Pacific and Juan de Fuca (including the Explorer Plate and Gorda Block) Plates. The Blanco, Mendocino, Revere-Dellwood, Nootka, and Sovanco fracture zones host the majority of this seismicity, largely consisting of strike-slip earthquakes. The Explorer, Juan de Fuca, and Gorda spreading ridges join these fracture zones and host normal faulting earthquakes. Our results show that at least the moderate-magnitude activity clusters along fault strike, supporting suggestions of large variations in seismic coupling along oceanic transform faults. Our improved relative locations corroborate earlier interpretations of the internal deformation in the Explorer and Gorda Plates. North of the Explorer Plate, improved locations support models that propose northern extension of the Revere-Dellwood fault. Relocations also support interpretations that favor multiple parallel active faults along the Blanco Transform Fault Zone. Seismicity of the western half of the Blanco appears more scattered and less collinear than the eastern half, possibly related to fault maturity. We use azimuthal variations in the Rayleigh wave cross-correlation amplitude to detect and model rupture directivity for a moderate size earthquake along the eastern Blanco Fault. The observations constrain the seismogenic zone geometry and suggest a relatively narrow seismogenic zone width of 2 to 4 km. Key Points Rayleigh cross correlation used to calculate relative EQ locations in NE Pacific Cross correlation is used to detect and model earthquake rupture directivity New EQ locations improve tectonic interpretations in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6960-6976
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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