Duration of deep earthquakes determined by stacking of Global Seismograph Network seismograms

Publication Year


Journal Article

The duration of each subevent of 48 earthquakes with magnitude larger than 5.5 and depth greater than 100 km was determined from stacked traces of broadband records of Global Seismograph Network stations. We fitted the source time function by one or more triangles convolved with attenuation. We found that global stacks of displacement seismograms yield reliable estimates of the rupture duration. The durations, scaled to a moment of 1019 N m, of both the subevents and the entire earthquake show a slight decrease with depth from 9 s for events at 100 km depth to about 7 s for events at 600 km depth. Assuming that the rupture velocity is a constant fraction of the shear wave speed, this decrease can be completely explained by the increase in shear velocity of 20%. In this sense, deep earthquakes are comparable to intermediate ones. For some intermediate-depth events, Vidale and Houston [1993] found durations up to twice as long. We find that almost all of their slow events have been recorded at large epicentral distances. At these distances, we conjecture that the end of the P wave train may be extended by the arrival of reflections from the D" layer.

J. Geophys. Res.
21,059 - 21,065
Date Published
Short Title
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth