When are Non-Double-Couple Components of Seismic Moment Tensors Reliable?
Keywords:Non-double-couple components, moment tensors, moment tensor catalogs
There has been considerable discussion as to how to assess when non-double-couple (NDC) components of seismic moment tensors represent real source processes. We explore this question by comparing moment tensors (MTs) of earthquakes in three global catalogs, which use different inversion procedures. Their NDC components are only weakly correlated between catalogs, suggesting that they are largely artifacts of the inversion. A monotonic decrease in the NDC components' standard deviation with magnitude indicates increased reliability of the NDC components for larger earthquakes. The standard deviation begins to decrease for large NDC components exceeding 60%, suggesting that they represent real source processes. Randomly generated NDC components with the same mean and standard deviation as in the MT catalogs only reproduce some of this decrease. Thus NDC components of large earthquakes and NDC components that exceed 60% are likely to represent real source processes.
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