Seismic Instruments

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 379–386 | Cite as

Commentary on “Earthquake Depths in the Crimea–Black Sea Region” by V.E. Kulchitsky, B.G. Pustovitenko and V.A. Svidlova

  • V. Yu. Burmin
  • L. A. Shumlyanskaya


It is well known that the results of determining earthquake parameters depend to a large extent on data processing algorithms and velocity models of the seismic wave propagation medium used in solving hypocenter problems. In 1992, V.Yu. Burmin developed a hypocentric algorithm that minimizes the functional of distances between the points corresponding to the theoretical and observed travel times of seismic waves from an earthquake source to recording stations. The determination of the coordinates of earthquake hypocenters in this case is much more stable than for the commonly used minimization of the functional of discrepancies in the seismic wave arrival times at a station. Using this algorithm and the refined velocity model of the medium, V.Yu. Burmin and L.A. Shumlyanskaya reinterpreted the earthquake parameters for the Crimea–Black Sea region. The most important result of this reinterpretation was the conclusion about the occurrence of deep earthquakes with a source depth of more than 60 km in the region. This result contradicts the conventional beliefs about the seismicity of the region and therefore aroused strong criticism from experts directly involved in compiling the existing catalogs of regional earthquakes. These comments and criticisms are presented by V.E. Kulchitsky with coauthors in a work published in this issue of the journal. In the present paper, we analyze the comments in detail and respond. In particular, we show that the previously used methods of seismic data processing made it highly unlikely by default that deep earthquakes would appear in the results. As an example, we refer to the use of travel-time curves for depths down to 35 km. It is clear that deep earthquakes could not have been found with this approach.


hypocenter algorithm deep earthquakes Crimea Black Sea 


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© Allerton Press, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Schmidt Institute of Physics of the EarthRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute of GeophysicsNational Academy of Sciences of UkraineKievUkraine

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