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BARENTS16: a 1-D velocity model for the western Barents Sea

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Abstract

A minimum 1-D seismic velocity model for routine seismic event location purposes was determined for the area of the western Barents Sea, using a modified version of the VELEST code. The resulting model, BARENTS16, and corresponding station corrections were produced using data from stations at regional distances, the vast majority located in the periphery of the recorded seismic activity, due to the unfavorable land–sea distribution. Recorded seismicity is approached through the listings of a joint bulletin, resulting from the merging of several international and regional bulletins for the region, as well as additional parametric data from temporary deployments. We discuss the challenges posed by this extreme network-seismicity geometry in terms of velocity estimation resolution and result stability. Although the conditions do not facilitate the estimation of meaningful station corrections at the farthermost stations, and even well-resolved corrections do not have a convincing contribution, we show that the process can still converge to a stable velocity average for the crust and upper mantle, in good agreement with a priori information about the regional structure and geology, which reduces adequately errors in event location estimates.

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Acknowledgements

Steven Gibbons provided phase readings for a collection of seismic events in northern Norway, as well as phase readings from stations on Greenland for events in the European Arctic that were relocated within an AFRL contract. Ilma Janutyté provided phase readings from events in Finnmark from temporary deployments realized within the international initiative ScanArray (Thybo et al. 2012). The Arkhangelsk seismic bulletin was provided by Yana Konechnaya and readings from the KRSC station AMD by Andrey Fedorov, within the GEOPROC project co-financed by the Research Council of Norway (project no. 233973) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 14-05-93080). Maps were constructed using the Generic Mapping Tools software (e.g., Wessel and Smith 1998). Bathymetry in Figs. 1a, b, 7, and 8 is shown using the IBCAO grid (Jakobsson et al. 2012), and the mid-ocean ridge system in Figs. 1c and 5a, b is traced using the plate boundaries of Bird (2003). The manuscript benefited from the comments of two anonymous reviewers.

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This research was financed by Aker BP ASA.

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Pirli, M., Schweitzer, J. BARENTS16: a 1-D velocity model for the western Barents Sea. J Seismol 22, 69–81 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10950-017-9692-y

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