Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 172, Issue 2, pp 213–224 | Cite as

Auto Correlation Analysis of Coda Waves from Local Earthquakes for Detecting Temporal Changes in Shallow Subsurface Structures: the 2011 Tohoku-Oki, Japan Earthquake



For monitoring temporal changes in subsurface structures I propose to use auto correlation functions of coda waves from local earthquakes recorded at surface receivers, which probably contain more body waves than surface waves. Use of coda waves requires earthquakes resulting in decreased time resolution for monitoring. Nonetheless, it may be possible to monitor subsurface structures in sufficient time resolutions in regions with high seismicity. In studying the 2011 Tohoku-Oki, Japan earthquake (Mw 9.0), for which velocity changes have been previously reported, I try to validate the method. KiK-net stations in northern Honshu are used in this analysis. For each moderate earthquake normalized auto correlation functions of surface records are stacked with respect to time windows in the S-wave coda. Aligning the stacked, normalized auto correlation functions with time, I search for changes in phases arrival times. The phases at lag times of <1 s are studied because changes at shallow depths are focused. Temporal variations in the arrival times are measured at the stations based on the stretching method. Clear phase delays are found to be associated with the mainshock and to gradually recover with time. The amounts of the phase delays are 10 % on average with the maximum of about 50 % at some stations. The deconvolution analysis using surface and subsurface records at the same stations is conducted for validation. The results show the phase delays from the deconvolution analysis are slightly smaller than those from the auto correlation analysis, which implies that the phases on the auto correlations are caused by larger velocity changes at shallower depths. The auto correlation analysis seems to have an accuracy of about several percent, which is much larger than methods using earthquake doublets and borehole array data. So this analysis might be applicable in detecting larger changes. In spite of these disadvantages, this analysis is still attractive because it can be applied to many records on the surface in regions where no boreholes are available.


Temporal changes coda waves auto correlation Tohoku-Oki earthquake 


  1. Bonilla, L. F., K. Tsuda, N. Pulido, J. Regnier, and A. Laurendeau (2011), Nonlinear site response evidence of K-NET and KiK-net records from the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake, Earth Planets Space, 63, 785–789.Google Scholar
  2. Brenguier, F., N. M. Shapiro, M. Campillo, V. Ferrazzini, Z. Duputel, O. Coutant, and A. Nercessian (2008), Towards forecasting volcanic eruptions using seismic noise, Nature Geoscience, 1, 126–130, doi:10.1038/ngeo104.
  3. Campillo, M., and A. Paul (2003), Long-range correlations in the diffusive seismic coda, Science, 299, 547–549, doi:10.1126/science.1078551.
  4. Claerbout, J. F. (1968), Synthesis of a layered medium from its acoustic transmission response, Geophysics, 33, 264–269.Google Scholar
  5. Daneshvar, M. R., Caly, C. S., and Savage, M. K. (1995), Passive seismic imaging using microearthquakes, Geophysics, 60, 1178–1186.Google Scholar
  6. Furumoto, M., Y. Ichimori, N. Hayashi, and Y. Hiramatsu (2001), Seismic wave velocity changes and stress build-up in the crust of the Kanto-Tokai region, Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 3737–3740.Google Scholar
  7. Gardner, G. H. F., L. W. Gardner, and A. R. Gregory (1974), Formation velocity and density – the diagnostic basics for stratigraphic traps, Geophysics, 39, 770–780.Google Scholar
  8. Hadziioannou, C., E. Larose, O. Coutant, P. Roux, and M. Campillo (2009), Stability of monitoring weak changes in multiply scattering media with ambient noise correlation: laboratory experiments, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 125, 3688–3695.Google Scholar
  9. Ikuta, R., K. Yamaoka, K. Miyazawa, T. Kunitomo, and M. Kumazawa (2002), Continuous monitoring of propagation velocity of seismic wave using ACROSS, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29, doi:10.1029/2001GL013974.
  10. Li, Y. G., J. E. Vidale, K. Aki, F. Xu, and T. Burdette (1998), Evidence of shallow fault zone strengthening after the 1992 M7.5 Landers, California, earthquake, Science, 279, 217–219.Google Scholar
  11. Minato, S., T. Tsuji, S. Ohmi, and T. Matsuoka (2012), Monitoring seismic velocity change caused by the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake using ambient noise records, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L09309, doi:10.1029/2012GL051405.
  12. Nakahara, H. (2006), Theoretical background of retrieving Green’s function by cross-correlation: one-dimensional case, Geophys. J. Int., 165, 719–728.Google Scholar
  13. Nakahara, H. (2013), Envelope inversion analysis for high-frequency seismic energy radiation from the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake (Mw 9.0), Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 103, 1348–1359.Google Scholar
  14. Nakata, N., and R. Snieder (2011), Near-surface weakening in Japan after the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L17302, doi:10.1029/2011GL048800.
  15. Nakata, N., and R. Snieder (2012), Estimating near-surface shear wave velocities in Japan by applying seismic interferometry to KiK-net data, J. Geophys. Res., 117, B01308, doi:10.1029/2011JB008595.
  16. Nishimura, T., Y. Ohta, H. Nakahara, and T. Takeda (2013), Seismic velocity changes associated with the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake, M9.0, as inferred from correlation analyses of repeating earthquakes, submitted to Geophys. J. Int..Google Scholar
  17. Nishimura, T., S. Tanaka, T. Yamawaki, H. Yamamoto, T. Sano, M. Sato, H. Nakahara, N. Uchida, S. Hori, and H. Sato (2005), Temporal changes in seismic velocity of the crust around Iwate volcano, Japan, as inferred from analyses of repeated active seismic experiment data, Earth Planets Space, 57, 491–505.Google Scholar
  18. Ohmi, S., K. Hirahara, H. Wada, and K. Ito (2008), Temporal variations of crustal structure in the source region of the 2007 Noto Hanto earthquake, central Japan, with passive image interferometry, Earth Planets and Space, 60, 1069–1074.Google Scholar
  19. Okada, Y., K. Kasahara, S. Hori, K. Obara, S. Sekiguchi, H. Fujiwara, and A. Yamamoto (2004), Recent progress of seismic observation networks in Japan-Hi-net, F-net, K-NET and KiK-net-,Earth Planets and Space, 56, xv–xxviii, 2004.Google Scholar
  20. Poupinet, G., W. L. Ellsworth, and J. Frechet (1984), Monitoring velocity variations in the crust using earthquake doublets: an application to the Calaveras fault, California, J. Geophys. Res., 89, 5719–5731.Google Scholar
  21. Ratdomopurbo, A. and G. Poupinet (1995), Monitoring a temporal change of seismic velocity in a volcano - Application to the 1992 eruption of Mt-Merapi (Indonesia), Geophys. Res. Lett., 22, 775–778.Google Scholar
  22. Sato, H., M. C. Fehler, and T. Maeda (2012), Seismic wave propagation and scattering in the heterogeneous Earth, 2nd Edn, Springer, Berlin.Google Scholar
  23. Sawazaki, K., H. Sato, H. Nakahara, and T. Nishimura (2009), Time-lapse changes of seismic velocity in the shallow ground caused by strong ground motion shock of the 2000 Western-Tottori Earthquake, Japan, as revealed from coda deconvolution analysis, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 99, 352–366, doi:10.1785/0120080058.
  24. Sawazaki, K., and R. Snieder (2013), Time-lapse changes of P- and S-wave and shear wave splitting in the first year after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, Japan: shallow subsurface, Geophys. J. Int., doi:10.1093/gji/ggs080.
  25. Scherbaum, F. (1987), Seismic imaging of the site response using microearthquakes recordings: Part I, Method, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 77, 1905–1923.Google Scholar
  26. Sens-Schönfelder, C., and Wegler, U. (2006), Passive image interferometry and seasonal variations of seismic velocities at Merapi volcano, Indonesia, Geophys. R. Lett., 33, L21302, doi:10.1029/2006GL027797.
  27. Shapiro, N. M., and M. Campillo (2004), Emergence of broadband Rayleigh waves from correlations of the ambient seismic noise, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L07614, doi:10.1029/2004GL019491.
  28. Snieder, R., A. Grêt, H. Douma, and J. Scales (2002), Coda wave interferometry for estimating nonlinear behaviour in seismic velocity, Science, 295, 2253–2255.Google Scholar
  29. Takagi, R., and T. Okada (2012), Temporal changes in shear velocity and polarization anisotropy related to the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake examined using KiK-net vertical array data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L09310, doi:10.1029/2012GL051342.
  30. Tsutsui, T. (1992), Pseudoreflection profiling method: An efficient complement to CDP method, Geophysical Prospecting, 40, 15–30.Google Scholar
  31. Uchida, N., A. Hasegawa, T. Matsuzawa, and T. Igarashi (2004), Pre- and post-seismic slow slip on the plate boundary off Sanriku NE Japan associated with three interplate earthquakes as estimated from small repeating earthquake data, Tectonophysics, 385, 1–15.Google Scholar
  32. Vidale, J. E., and Y. G. Li (2003), Damage to the shallow Landers fault from the nearby Hector Mine earthquake, Nature, 421, 524–526.Google Scholar
  33. Weaver, R., and O. Lobkis (2002), On the emergence of the Green’s function in the correlations of a diffuse field: pulse-echo using thermal phonons, Ultrasonics, 20, 436–439.Google Scholar
  34. Wegler, U., and B.G. Lühr, R. Snieder, and A. Ratdomopurbo (2006), Increase of shear wave velocity before the 1998 eruption of Merapi volcano (Indonesia), Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, doi:10.1029/2006GL025928.
  35. Wegler, U., H. Nakahara, C. Sens-Schönfelder, M. Korn, and K. Shiomi (2009), Sudden drop of seismic velocity after the 2004 Mw6.6 Mid-Niigata earthquake, Japan, observed with Passive Image Interferometry, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B06305, doi:10.1029/2008JB005869.
  36. Wegler, U., and C. Sens-Schönfelder (2007), Fault zone monitoring with passive image interferometry, Geophys. J. Int., 168, 1029–1033, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03284.x.
  37. Wessel, P. and W. H. F. Smith (1998), New improved version of the Generic Mapping Tools released, EOS Trans., Am. Geophys. Union, 79, 579.Google Scholar
  38. Wu, C., and Z. Peng (2011), Temporal changes of site response during the 2011 Mw9.0 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake, Earth Planets Space, 63, 791–795.Google Scholar
  39. Yoshimoto, K., K. Sakurai, H. Nakahara, S. Kinoshita, and H. Sato (2008), Seismic basement structure in the Kanto, Japan inferred from the seismic interferometry of strong motion records, The 7th General Assembly of Asian Seismological Commission, Tsukuba, Tsukuba International Congress Center.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

Personalised recommendations