Journal of Seismology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 93–106 | Cite as

Quantifying capability of a local seismic network in terms of locations and focal mechanism solutions of weak earthquakes

  • Lucia FojtíkováEmail author
  • Miriam Kristeková
  • Jiří Málek
  • Efthimios Sokos
  • Kristián Csicsay
  • Jiří Zahradník
Original Article


Extension of permanent seismic networks is usually governed by a number of technical, economic, logistic, and other factors. Planned upgrade of the network can be justified by theoretical assessment of the network capability in terms of reliable estimation of the key earthquake parameters (e.g., location and focal mechanisms). It could be useful not only for scientific purposes but also as a concrete proof during the process of acquisition of the funding needed for upgrade and operation of the network. Moreover, the theoretical assessment can also identify the configuration where no improvement can be achieved with additional stations, establishing a tradeoff between the improvement and additional expenses. This paper presents suggestion of a combination of suitable methods and their application to the Little Carpathians local seismic network (Slovakia, Central Europe) monitoring epicentral zone important from the point of seismic hazard. Three configurations of the network are considered: 13 stations existing before 2011, 3 stations already added in 2011, and 7 new planned stations. Theoretical errors of the relative location are estimated by a new method, specifically developed in this paper. The resolvability of focal mechanisms determined by waveform inversion is analyzed by a recent approach based on 6D moment-tensor error ellipsoids. We consider potential seismic events situated anywhere in the studied region, thus enabling “mapping” of the expected errors. Results clearly demonstrate that the network extension remarkably decreases the errors, mainly in the planned 23-station configuration. The already made three-station extension of the network in 2011 allowed for a few real data examples. Free software made available by the authors enables similar application in any other existing or planned networks.


Seismic network Relative location uncertainty Focal-mechanism uncertainty Waveform inversion Uncertainty mapping Weak earthquakes Little Carpathians 



Lucia Fojtíková and Jiří Málek have been supported by the Czech Science Foundation grant GACR-P210/12/2336. Jiří Zahradník has been supported by the Czech Science Foundation grant GACR-14-04372S. Miriam Kristeková, Kristian Csicsay have been supported by the Slovak Foundation Grant VEGA-2/0188/15. Miriam Kristeková has been supported as well by the project: MYGDONEMOTION APVV-0271-11, funded by the Slovak grant agency APVV. The authors thank Progseis company for providing the data from their local seismic network and Jaroslav Štrunc for cooperation in the development of new stations. The authors also thank Antonio Emolo, Ronnie Quintero, and Lucas V. Barros for constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucia Fojtíková
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Miriam Kristeková
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jiří Málek
    • 1
  • Efthimios Sokos
    • 4
  • Kristián Csicsay
    • 2
  • Jiří Zahradník
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Rock Structure and MechanicsAcademy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.iPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Earth Science Institute, Slovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia
  3. 3.Comenius University in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia
  4. 4.Department of Geology, Seismological LaboratoryUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece
  5. 5.Faculty of Mathematics and PhysicsCharles University in PraguePragueCzech Republic

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