Acta Seismologica Sinica

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 139–147 | Cite as

Estimating the size of an earthquake using short-period seismograms of the first three seconds: A simulated experiment using the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake sequence

  • Yang Xu (许洋)
  • Zhong-liang Wu (吴忠良)Email author
  • Chang-sheng Jiang (蒋长胜)
  • Yan-xiang Yu (俞言祥)
  • Jian-si Yang (杨建思)


Most of the present earthquake early warning systems are based on broadband or strong motion recordings. However, the short-period instruments are still deployed. It is well-known that short-period recordings have saturation problems for large earthquakes when estimating the size of an earthquake. Thus, it is necessary to make clear the magnitude at which saturation starts to occur for the commonly used τ c and Pd measurements, respectively. To investigate the possibility of using short-period seismic recordings for earthquake early warning, we conducted a simulated experiment using the strong motion data of the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake sequence including its main shock and 31 aftershocks, with magnitude span from 4 to 7.6. The strong motion acceleration recordings were convolved with the instrument response of short-period seismographs in northern China to simulate short-period seismograms. Parameters τ c and Pd from the first-three-second seismograms were calculated for the simulated short-period recordings and compared with that obtained by the original strong ground motion recordings. The result showed that to some extent, short-period recordings can be used for threshold earthquake early warning, while the magnitude saturation of Pd estimation can be up to 6.5, better than τ c estimation.

Key words

earthquake early warning system τc measurement Pd measurement short-period recording 

CLC number



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Copyright information

© Seismological Society of China and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Xu (许洋)
    • 1
  • Zhong-liang Wu (吴忠良)
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Chang-sheng Jiang (蒋长胜)
    • 1
  • Yan-xiang Yu (俞言祥)
    • 1
  • Jian-si Yang (杨建思)
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeophysicsChina Earthquake AdministrationBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Earth ScienceGraduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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