New improved model detects seismic activity more accurately



Washington, Dec 17: Geologists have taken an important step toward helping the United States government monitor nuclear explosions by improving a 3-dimensional model originally developed at Harvard University.


The improvements make the model more accurate at detecting the location, source and depth of seismic activity.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Rhode Island and Princeton University, in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

"The goal is to build a model of the Earth that will locate seismic events and characterize those events precisely while reducing potential errors," said Brian Savage, URI assistant professor of geosciences.

The model spans the politically sensitive region from Turkey to India, including Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, a region Savage describes as "tectonically complex."

Savage and his colleagues analyzed data from 200 earthquakes collected by 150 seismic stations in the region between 1990 and 2007.

They compared the data with that from simulated earthquakes to identify deficiencies in the model, then propagated the simulated earthquakes in reverse to determine where to improve and update the model. he improvements the researchers made to the model focused on long period surface waves and identifying the magnitude of a seismic event.

The results of their research were presented today at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.


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