Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 175, Issue 8, pp 2643–2667 | Cite as

Fault Zone Imaging from Correlations of Aftershock Waveforms

  • Gregor Hillers
  • Michel Campillo


We image an active fault zone environment using cross correlations of 154 15 s long 1992 Landers earthquake aftershock seismograms recorded along a line array. A group velocity and phase velocity dispersion analysis of the reconstructed Rayleigh waves and Love waves yields shear wave velocity images of the top 100 m along the 800 m long array that consists of 22 three component stations. Estimates of the position, width, and seismic velocity of a low-velocity zone are in good agreement with the findings of previous fault zone trapped waves studies. Our preferred solution indicates the zone is offset from the surface break to the east, 100–200 m wide, and characterized by a 30% velocity reduction. Imaging in the 2–6 Hz range resolves further a high-velocity body of similar width to the west of the fault break. Symmetry and shape of zero-lag correlation fields or focal spots indicate a frequency and position dependent wavefield composition. At frequencies greater than 4 Hz surface wave propagation dominates, whereas at lower frequencies the correlation field also exhibits signatures of body waves that likely interact with the high-velocity zone. The polarization and late arrival times of coherent wavefronts observed above the low-velocity zone indicate reflections associated with velocity contrasts in the fault zone environment. Our study highlights the utility of the high-frequency correlation wavefield obtained from records of local and regional seismicity. The approach does not depend on knowledge of earthquake source parameters, which suggests the method can return images quickly during aftershock campaigns to guide network updates for optimal coverage of interesting geological features.


Fault zones Imaging Surface waves Cross-correlation Aftershocks 



We thank Z. Peng for help with the database and M. Wathelet, A. Mordret, and D. Faulkner for discussions. We thank the Editor B. Edwards, reviewer P.-E. Share, and an anonymous reviewer for comments that helped to improve the manuscript. G. Hillers acknowledges support through a Heisenberg fellowship from the German Research Foundation (HI 1714/1-2). M. Campillo acknowledges support from Institut Universitaire de France. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant Agreement No. 742335, F-IMAGE). Most figures are made using the Generic Mapping Tools (Wessel and Smith 1998).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut des Sciences de la TerreUniversité Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.Institute of SeismologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.CNRSParisFrance

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