pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 138, Issue 3, pp 445–469 | Cite as

Anisotropic radiation modelling of macroseismic intensities for estimation of the attenuation structure of the upper crust in Greece

  • Constantinos B. Papazachos


A method is suggested for the analysis of macroseismic intensity data in order to accurately determine an “average” attenuation structure of the upper part of the crust in an area. The method is based on a model which assumes that the observed intensities depend on source properties (radiation pattern, size, focal depth), geometrical spreading and anelastic attenuation. The method is applied to 13,008 intensity values, observed in corresponding sites of Greece and grouped (in 4228 groups), according to their spatial clustering in order to diminish observational errors and site effects. An average intensity attenuation coefficient,c=−0.0039±0.0016, corresponding to a quality factor, Q=350±140, is determined for the upper 20 km of the crust in this area. This value is relatively low, in good agreement with the relatively high heat flow and high seismic activity of this area. A byproduct of the present study is the determination, for each earthquake, of a macroseismic focal depth and of a “macroseismic size,” which is strongly correlatted with both the earthquake's magnitude and its seismic moment determined by independent methods.

Key words

Attenuation structure macroseismic intensity quality factor geometrical spreading anisotropic radiation Aegean area 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aki, K.,Physical theory of earthquakes. InSeismic Hazard in Mediterranean Regions (eds. Bonnin, J., Cara, M., Cisternas, A., and Fantechi, R.) (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1988) pp. 3–33.Google Scholar
  2. Al-Shukri, H. J., andMitchell, B. J. (1990),Three-dimensional Attenuation Structure in and around the New-Madrid Seismic Zone, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.80, 615–632.Google Scholar
  3. Alvarez, L., andChuy, T. (1985),Isoseismal Model for Greater Antilles, 3rd International Symposium on the Analysis of Seismicity and Seismic Risk, Liblice, Czechoslovakia, 17–22, June 1985, 134–141.Google Scholar
  4. Ambraseys, N. N. (1985),Intensity-attenuation and Magnitude-intensity Relations for Northwest European Earthquakes, Earthq. Eng. and Str. Dyn.13, 1–29.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, J. G. (1978),On Attenuation of Modified Mercali Intensity with Distance in the United States, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.68, 1147–1179.Google Scholar
  6. Bune, V. I. (1979),The Methodology for Mapping Regional Seismic Zones, Meeting of the Working Group 4.3 DAPG, Bratislava, 1–6 October, 1979, 95–103.Google Scholar
  7. Chandra, U. (1979),Attenuation of Intensities in the United States, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.69, 2003–2024.Google Scholar
  8. Chandra U. (1982),Attenuation of Intensities with Distance in Greece, 3rd Int. Conf. Earthq. Microz., Seattle, 2, 541–552.Google Scholar
  9. Comninakis, P. E. (1975),A Contribution to the Investigation of the Seismicity of the Area of Greece (in Greek), Ph.D. Thesis, Geology Dept., Univ. of Athens, 110 pp.Google Scholar
  10. Comninakis, P. E., andPapazachos, B. C. (1980),Space and Time Distribution of the Intermediate Depth Earthquakes in the Hellenic Arc, Tectonophys.70, 35–47.Google Scholar
  11. Comninakis, P. E., andPapazachos, B. C. (1986),A Catalogue of Earthquakes in Greece and the Surrounding Area for the Period 1901–1985, Publ. Geoph. Lab. Univ. Thessaloniki1, 167 pp.Google Scholar
  12. Cornell, C. A. (1968),Engineering Seismic Risk Analysis. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.58, 1503–1606.Google Scholar
  13. Dahle, A., Bungum, H. andKramme, L. B. (1990).Attenuation Models Inferred from Intraplate Earthquake Recordings, Earthq. Eng and Str. Dyn.19, 1125–1141.Google Scholar
  14. Delibasis, N. D. (1982),Seismic Wave Attenuation in the Upper Mantle Beneath the Aegean, Pure and Appl. Geophys.120, 820–839.Google Scholar
  15. Drakopoulos, J. K. (1978a),Magnitude Estimation as a Function of Intensities for Shallow Shocks in the Area of Greece, Symp. on the Analysis of Seismicity and Seismic Risk, Liblice, Czechoslovakia, 17–22 June, 1977, 159–172.Google Scholar
  16. Drakopoulos, J. K. (1978b),Attenuation of Intensities with Distances for Shallow Earthquakes in the Area of Greece, Bull. Geof. Teor. Appl.20, 235–250.Google Scholar
  17. Drakopoulos, J., andStamelou, I. (1986),Intensity-distance Relations Along Max and Min Axis of a Proposed Elliptical Isoseismal Map in Western Greece, 8th Eur. Conf. Earthq. Eng., Lisbon3, 79–86.Google Scholar
  18. Everden, J. F. (1975),Seismic Intensities, “Size” of the Earthquakes and Related Parameters, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.65, 1287–1313.Google Scholar
  19. Ewing, W. M., Jardetzky, W. S., andPress, F.,Elastic Waves in Layered Media (McGraw-Hill, New York 1957) 374 pp.Google Scholar
  20. Fleischer, U. (1964),Schwerestörungen im östlichen Mittelmeer: nach Messungen mit einem Askania-Seegravimeter, Deut. Hydrogr. Zh.17 (4).Google Scholar
  21. Frankel, A. (1991),Mechanisms of Seismic Attenuation in the Crust: Scattering and Anelasticity in New York State, South Africa and Southern California, J. Geoph. Res.96, 6269–6289.Google Scholar
  22. Galanopoulos, A. G. (1961a),On Magnitude Determination by Using Macroseismic Data, Annali di Geofisica3, 225–253.Google Scholar
  23. Galanopoulos, A. G. (1961b),On Magnitude Determination by Using Macroseismic Data, Second paper, Annali di Geofisica24, 403–408.Google Scholar
  24. Galanopoulos, A. G. (1963),On Mapping of Seismic Activity, in Greece, Annali di Geofisica16, 37–100.Google Scholar
  25. Georgalas, G. (1962),Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes and Solfatara Fields in Greece, Int. Ass. Volcanol., Rome, Part 12.Google Scholar
  26. Gupta, I. N., andNuttli, O. W. (1976),Spatial Attenuation of Intensities for Central U.S. Earthquakes, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.66, 743–751.Google Scholar
  27. Hashida, T., andShimazaki, K. (1984),Determination of Seismic Attenuation Structure and Source Strength by Inversion of Seismic Intensity Data: Method and Numerical Experiment, J. Phys. Earth.29, 299–316.Google Scholar
  28. Hashida, T., Stravrakakis, G., andShimazaki, K. (1988),Three-dimensional Seismic Attenuations Structure Beneath the Aegean Region and its Tectonic Implication, Tectonophys.145, 43–54.Google Scholar
  29. Hatzidimitriou, P. M. (1984),Seismogenic Volumes and Seismic Sources of the Aegean and Surrounding Area (in Greek), Ph.D. Thesis, Geology Dept., Univ. of Thessaloniki, 162 pp.Google Scholar
  30. Howell, B. F., andSchultz, T. (1975),Attenuation of Modified Mercalli Intensity with Distance from the Epicenter, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.65, 651–665.Google Scholar
  31. Jongsma, D. (1974),Heat Flow in the Aegean Sea, Geophys. J. R. Astr. Soc.37, 337–346.Google Scholar
  32. Karacostas, B. G. (1988),Relationship between the Seismic Activity and Geological and Geomorphological Features of the Aegean and Surrounding Areas (in Greek), Ph.D. Thesis, Geology Dept., Univ. of Thessaloniki, 243 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Kiratzi, A. A., Papadimitriou, E. E., andPapazachos, B. C. (1991),Seismic Moments and Focal Depths of the Earthquakes of the Aegean Area Determined by Waveform Modeling, Publ. Geoph. Lab. Univ. Thessaloniki,10, 27 pp.Google Scholar
  34. Kovachev, S. A., Kuzin, I. P., Shoda, O. Yu., andSoloviev, S. L. (1991),Attenuation of S-waves in the Lithosphere of the Sea of Crete According to OBS Observations, Phys. Earth Planet. Interiors69, 101–111.Google Scholar
  35. Levenberg, K. (1944),A Method for the Solution of Certain Nonlinear Problems in Least-squares, Quant. Appl. Math.2, 164–168.Google Scholar
  36. Makris, J. (1976),A Dynamic Model of the Hellenic Arc Deduced from Geophysical Data, Tectonophys.36, 339–346.Google Scholar
  37. Margaris, B., andPapazachos, B. C. (1991),Azimuthal Dependent Attenuation in the Southern Balkan Region, Publ. Geoph. Lab. Univ. Thessaloniki12, 36 pp.Google Scholar
  38. Marquadt, P. W. (1963),An Algorithm for Least-squares Estimation of Nonlinear Parameters, J. Soc. Ind. Appl. Math.11, 431–441.Google Scholar
  39. McGuire, R. K. (1976),Fortran Computer Program for Seismic Risk Analysis, U.S.G.S. Dept. of Interior, Open-file Rep.76-67, 90 pp.Google Scholar
  40. McKenzie, D. P. (1978),Active Tectonics of the Alpine Himalayan Belt: The Aegean Sea and Surrounding Regions, Geophys. J. R. Astr. Soc.55, 217–254.Google Scholar
  41. Panza, G. F., andCuscito, M. (1982),Influence of Focal Mechanism on Shape of Isoseismals: Irpinia Earthquake of November 23 1980, 120, Pure and Appl. Geophys.120, 577–582.Google Scholar
  42. Papaioannou, Ch. (1984),Attenuation of Seismic Intensities and Seismic Hazard in Greece and Surrounding Area, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Thessaloniki, 200 pp.Google Scholar
  43. Papaioannou, Ch., Kiratzi, A., andPapazachos, B. C. (1985),Regional Attenuation of Intensities in the Southern Balkan Region, 3rd Intern. Symp. on the Analysis of Seismicity and Seismic Risk, Liblice, Czechoslovakia, 17–22 June 1985,2, 394–399.Google Scholar
  44. Papazachos, B. C. (1990),Seismicity of the Aegean and Surrounding Area, Tectonophys.178, 287–308.Google Scholar
  45. Papazachos, B. C., Comninakis, P. E., andDrakopoulos, J. C. (1966),Preliminary Results of an Investigation of Crustal Sructure in Southeastern Europe, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.56, 1241–1268.Google Scholar
  46. Papazachos, B. C., andComninakis, P. E. (1970),Geophysical Features of the Greek Islands Arc and Eastern Mediterranean Ridge, Com. Ren. des Séances de la Conference Réunie à Madrid, 196916, 74–75.Google Scholar
  47. Papazachos, B. C., andComninakis, P. E. (1971),Geophysical and Tectonic Features of the Aegean Arc, J. Geophys. Res.76, 8517–8533.Google Scholar
  48. Papazachos, B. C., Comninakis, P. E., Kiriakidis, E. G., Kiratzi, A. A., Panagiotopoulos, D. G., Papadimitriou, E. E., Papaioannou, Ch. A., Pavlides, S. B., andTzanis, E. P. (1982),Atlas of Isoseismal Maps for Earthquakes in Greece, 1902–1981, Publ. Geoph. Lab., Univ. Thessaloniki4, 125 pp.Google Scholar
  49. Papazachos, B. C., Kiratzi, A. A., Boidomatis, P. H., andPapaioannou, Ch. A. (1984),A Study of the December 1981–January 1982 Seismic Activity in Northern Aegean Sea, Bull. Geoph. Theor. Appl.26, 101–113.Google Scholar
  50. Papazachos, B. C., andPapazachou, C. B. (1989),The Earthquakes of Greece (in Greek), Ziti Publications, Thessaloniki, 356 pp.Google Scholar
  51. Papazachos, C. B., andKiratzi, A. A. (1992),A Formulation for Reliable Estimation of Active Fault Deformation and its Application in Central Greece, Geoph. J. Int., in press.Google Scholar
  52. Papoulia, J. E. (1988),Statistical and Seismotectonic Models in Seismic Hazard Estimations with Parameter the Seismic Intensity, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Athens, 266 pp.Google Scholar
  53. Prochazkova, D. (1983),Macroseismic Fields in the Balkans, Travaux Geophysique Sciences580, 9–42.Google Scholar
  54. Sbar, M. L., andDubois, M. S. (1984),Attenuation of Intensity for the 1989 North Sonora, Mexico Earthquake, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.74, 2613–2628.Google Scholar
  55. Shebalin, N. V. (editor) (1974),Atlas of Isoseismal Maps, Part III of the catalogue, UNESCO, Scopje, 275 pp.Google Scholar
  56. Singh, S. K., Apsel, R. J., Fried, J., andBrune, J. N. (1982),Spectral Attenuation of SH Waves along the Imperial Fault, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.72, 2003–2016.Google Scholar
  57. Stamelou, I. (1985),Attenuation of the Seismic Intensities in Seismotectonic Zones of the Area of Greece, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Athens, 188 pp.Google Scholar
  58. Suhadolc, P., Cernoboi, L., Pazzi, G., andPanza, G. F.,Synthetic isoseismals: Application to Italian earthquakes. InSeismic Hazard in Mediterranean Regions (eds. Bonnin, J., Cara, M., Cisternas, A., and Fantechi, R.) (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1988), pp. 205–228.Google Scholar
  59. Tassos, S. T. (1984),Static and Dynamic Properties of the Upper Mantle in the South Aegean (in Greek), Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. of Thessaloniki, 155 pp.Google Scholar
  60. Tassos, S. T., andPapazachos, B. C. (1985),High and Low Velocity Zones, Attenuation and Intermediate Depth Seismicity in South Aegean, 3rd Int. Symp. on the Analysis of Seismicity and Seismic Risk, Liblice, Czechoslovakia, 17–22 June 1985, 293–305.Google Scholar
  61. Taymaz, T., Jackson, J., andMcKenzie, D. (1991),Active Tectonics of the North and Central Aegean Sea, Geophys. J. Int.106, 433–490.Google Scholar
  62. Theodulidis, N. (1991),A Contribution to the Study on Strong Ground Motion in Greece (in Greek), Ph.D. Thesis, University of Thessalonik, Greece, 500 pp.Google Scholar
  63. Tilford, N. R., Chandra, U., Amick, D. C., Moran, R., andSnider, F. (1985),Attenuation of Intensities and Effect of Focal Site Conditions on Observed Intensities during the Corinth, Greece, Earthquake of 24 and 25 February and 4 March 1981, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.75, 923–937.Google Scholar
  64. Vogt, P., andHiggs, P. (1969),An Aeromagnetic Survey of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and its Interpretation, Earth. Planet. Sci. Lett., 5 pp.Google Scholar
  65. Utsu, T. (1971),Seismological Evidence for Anomalous Structure of Islands Arcs with Special Reference to the Japanese Region, Rev. of Geoph. and Space Phys.9, 839–880.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constantinos B. Papazachos
    • 1
  1. 1.Geophysical LaboratoryUniversity of ThessalonikiMacedoniaGreece

Personalised recommendations