Seismic scattering and absorption parameters in the W-Bohemia/Vogtland region from elastic and acoustic radiative transfer theory

Gaebler, Peter J.; Eulenfeld, Tom; Wegler, Ulrich

In this study, frequency-dependent seismic scattering and intrinsic attenuation parameters for the crustal structure beneath the W-Bohemia/Vogtland swarm earthquake region close to the border of Czech Republic and Germany are estimated. Synthetic seismogram envelopes are modelled using elastic and acoustic radiative transfer theory. Scattering and absorption parameters are determined by fitting these synthetic envelopes to observed seismogram envelopes from 14 shallow local events from the October 2008 W-Bohemia/Vogtland earthquake swarm. The two different simulation approaches yield similar results for the estimated crustal parameters and show a comparable frequency dependence of both transport mean free path and intrinsic absorption path length. Both methods suggest that intrinsic attenuation is dominant over scattering attenuation in the W-Bohemia/Vogtland region for the investigated epicentral distance range and frequency bands from 3 to 24 Hz. Elastic simulations of seismogram envelopes suggest that forward scattering is required to explain the data, however, the degree of forward scattering is not resolvable. Errors in the parameter estimation are smaller in the elastic case compared to results from the acoustic simulations. The frequency decay of the transport mean free path suggests a random medium described by a nearly exponential autocorrelation function. The fluctuation strength and correlation length of the random medium cannot be estimated independently, but only a combination of the parameters related to the transport mean free path of the medium can be computed. Furthermore, our elastic simulations show, that using our numerical method, it is not possible to resolve the value of the mean free path of the random medium.

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