Crustal-scale reflection imaging and interpretation by passive seismic interferometry using local earthquakes

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We have developed an application of passive seismic interferometry (SI) using P-wave coda of local earthquakes for the purpose of crustal-scale reflection imaging. We processed the reflection gathers retrieved from SI following a standard seismic processing in exploration seismology. We applied SI to the P-wave coda using crosscorrelation, crosscoherence, and multidimensional deconvolution (MDD) approaches for data recorded in the Malargüe region, Argentina. Comparing the results from the three approaches, we found that MDD based on the truncated singular-value decomposition scheme gave us substantially better structural imaging. Although our results provided higher resolution images of the subsurface, they showed less clear images for the Moho in comparison with previous seismic images in the region obtained by the receiver function and global-phase SI. Above the Moho, we interpreted a deep thrust fault and the possible melting zones, which were previously indicated by active-seismic and magnetotelluric methods in this region, respectively. The method we developed could be an alternative option not only for crustal-scale imaging, e.g., in enhanced geothermal systems, but also for lithospheric-scale as well as basin-scale imaging, depending on the availability of local earthquakes and the frequency bandwidth of their P-wave coda.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)SJ29-SJ53
Number of pages25
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2016


  • acoustic
  • crustal structure
  • earthquake
  • interferometry
  • geothermal

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