Statistical parameters of random heterogeneity estimated by analysing coda waves based on finite difference method

K. Emoto, T. Saito, K. Shiomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Short-period (< 1 s) seismograms are strongly affected by small-scale (< 10 km) heterogeneities in the lithosphere. In general, short-period seismograms are analysed based on the statistical method by considering the interaction between seismic waves and randomly distributed small-scale heterogeneities. Statistical properties of the random heterogeneities have been estimated by analysing short-period seismograms. However, generally, the smallscale random heterogeneity is not taken into account for the modelling of long-period (> 2 s) seismograms. We found that the energy of the coda of long-period seismograms shows a spatially flat distribution. This phenomenon is well known in short-period seismograms and results from the scattering by small-scale heterogeneities. We estimate the statistical parameters that characterize the small-scale random heterogeneity by modelling the spatiotemporal energy distribution of long-period seismograms. We analyse three moderate-size earthquakes that occurred in southwest Japan. We calculate the spatial distribution of the energy density recorded by a dense seismograph network in Japan at the period bands of 8-16 s, 4-8 s and 2-4 s and model them by using 3-D finite difference (FD) simulations. Compared to conventional methods based on statistical theories, we can calculate more realistic synthetics by using the FD simulation. It is not necessary to assume a uniform background velocity, body or surface waves and scattering properties considered in general scattering theories. By taking the ratio of the energy of the coda area to that of the entire area, we can separately estimate the scattering and the intrinsic absorption effects. Our result reveals the spectrum of the random inhomogeneity in a wide wavenumber range including the intensity around the corner wavenumber as P(m) = 8πε2a3/(1 + a2m2)2, where e = 0.05 and a = 3.1 km, even though past studies analysing higher-frequency records could not detect the corner. Finally, we estimate the intrinsic attenuation by modelling the decay rate of the energy. The method proposed in this study is suitable for quantifying the statistical properties of long-wavelength subsurface random inhomogeneity, which leads the way to characterizing a wider wavenumber range of spectra, including the corner wavenumber.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1575-1584
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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