Open Access

Spectral matrix analysis for detection of polarized wave arrivals and its application to seismic reflection studies using local earthquake data

Earth, Planets and Space201061:BF03352982

Received: 27 November 2008

Accepted: 1 September 2009

Published: 18 January 2010


Local earthquakes observed at Sendai, Japan, were analyzed to confirm the validity of a method of polarization analysis using the spectral matrix of seismic wave and its application to seismic reflection studies of the crust using local earthquake data. Reflectors (Bright spots) are known below the Nagamachi-Rifu fault, which caused an M 5.0 class event in 1998. Polarization analysis was applied to earthquake data in and around the fault. Use of the Z-parameter, which is defined using the eigenvalues of the spectral matrix and a statistical value representing the confidence level for the detection of the arrival of polarized waves, allowed detection of linearly and elliptically polarized waves in coda waves. The Z-parameter was also used to image the reflectors by using a migration technique that assumes the P×P and S×S reflection waves travel through a multi-layered velocity structure. Distinct reflectors were detected at depths of around 10 km, 14 km, 17 km, 21–26 km, 35 km and 40 km, that is, from deeper than the fault and the Moho. This study demonstrated the feasibility of using the spectral matrix of three-component seismic signal to detect polarized waves and to image reflectors in the earth’s crust and upper mantle.

Key words

Spectral matrix seismic reflection multiplet migration