, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 169-182
Date: 19 Nov 2011

Monitoring the West Bohemian earthquake swarm in 2008/2009 by a temporary small-aperture seismic array

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Abstract

The most recent intense earthquake swarm in West Bohemia lasted from 6 October 2008 to January 2009. Starting 12 days after the onset, the University of Potsdam monitored the swarm by a temporary small-aperture seismic array at 10 km epicentral distance. The purpose of the installation was a complete monitoring of the swarm including micro-earthquakes (M L < 0). We identify earthquakes using a conventional short-term average/long-term average trigger combined with sliding-window frequency-wavenumber and polarisation analyses. The resulting earthquake catalogue consists of 14,530 earthquakes between 19 October 2008 and 18 March 2009 with magnitudes in the range of − 1.2 ≤ M L ≤ 2.7. The small-aperture seismic array substantially lowers the detection threshold to about M c = − 0.4, when compared to the regional networks operating in West Bohemia (M c > 0.0). In the course of this work, the main temporal features (frequency–magnitude distribution, propagation of back azimuth and horizontal slowness, occurrence rate of aftershock sequences and interevent-time distribution) of the recent 2008/2009 earthquake swarm are presented and discussed. Temporal changes of the coefficient of variation (based on interevent times) suggest that the swarm earthquake activity of the 2008/2009 swarm terminates by 12 January 2009. During the main phase in our studied swarm period after 19 October, the b value of the Gutenberg–Richter relation decreases from 1.2 to 0.8. This trend is also reflected in the power-law behavior of the seismic moment release. The corresponding total seismic moment release of 1.02×1017 Nm is equivalent to M L,max = 5.4.