Title

Relocating Seismicity in the 2014–2015 Sheldon, Nevada Earthquake Swarm

Presenter Information

Rebeca Becerra

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Basin and Range Seismicity, Earthquake Swarm, Earthquake Relocation

Abstract

Since mid-July 2014, an earthquake swarm has been occurring in northwestern Nevada approximately 250 km north of Reno. Seismicity rates in the swarm slowly increased over a four month span culminating in a number of mid-magnitude 4 earthquakes in early November, 2014. Since that time, seismicity rates have slowed and, as of early April, the swarm now totals more than 4,500 earthquakes. The earthquake swarm is occurring in a region of the western basin and range that has seen very little historical seismicity, but is dominated by extensional features typical of the region. Focal mechanisms for the largest earthquakes show normal faulting but hypocenters appear to be poorly aligned with local tectonic structures. In order to assign these earthquakes to a regional structure, we relocated a total of 155 earthquakes using a joint hypocentral determination method. For the six largest earthquakes, we manually picked absolute P and S wave arrival times. In addition, we performed waveform cross-correlation on 153 earthquakes to get differential travel times. We then performed a joint hypocentral determination using both of our absolute and relative travel time catalogs. We found that the earthquake swarm is rupturing the normal faults bounding the western edge of the Sheldon Plateau. In addition, we found many highly correlated waveforms from earthquakes spanning the duration of the earthquake swarm, suggesting that the same regions of the fault are rupturing repeatedly

Poster Number

3

Faculty Mentor(s)

Walter Szeliga

Department/Program

Physics

Additional Mentoring Department

Geological Sciences

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May 21st, 8:30 AM May 21st, 11:00 AM

Relocating Seismicity in the 2014–2015 Sheldon, Nevada Earthquake Swarm

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Since mid-July 2014, an earthquake swarm has been occurring in northwestern Nevada approximately 250 km north of Reno. Seismicity rates in the swarm slowly increased over a four month span culminating in a number of mid-magnitude 4 earthquakes in early November, 2014. Since that time, seismicity rates have slowed and, as of early April, the swarm now totals more than 4,500 earthquakes. The earthquake swarm is occurring in a region of the western basin and range that has seen very little historical seismicity, but is dominated by extensional features typical of the region. Focal mechanisms for the largest earthquakes show normal faulting but hypocenters appear to be poorly aligned with local tectonic structures. In order to assign these earthquakes to a regional structure, we relocated a total of 155 earthquakes using a joint hypocentral determination method. For the six largest earthquakes, we manually picked absolute P and S wave arrival times. In addition, we performed waveform cross-correlation on 153 earthquakes to get differential travel times. We then performed a joint hypocentral determination using both of our absolute and relative travel time catalogs. We found that the earthquake swarm is rupturing the normal faults bounding the western edge of the Sheldon Plateau. In addition, we found many highly correlated waveforms from earthquakes spanning the duration of the earthquake swarm, suggesting that the same regions of the fault are rupturing repeatedly