Making reliable shear-wave splitting measurements

  • Liu K
  • Gao S
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Shear‐wave splitting (SWS) analysis using SKS, SKKS, and PKS (hereafter collectively called XKS) phases is one of the most commonly used techniques in structural seismology. In spite of the apparent simplicity in performing SWS measurements, large discrepancies in published SWS parameters (fast direction and splitting time) suggest that a significant portion of splitting parameters has been incorrectly determined. Here, based on the popularly used minimization of transverse energy technique, we present a procedure that combines automatic data processing and careful manual screening, which includes adjusting the XKS window used for splitting analysis, modifying band‐pass filtering corner frequencies, and verifying and (if necessary) changing the quality ranking of the measurements. Using real and synthetic data, we discuss causes and diagnostics of a number of common problems in performing SWS analysis, and suggest possible remedies. Those problems include noise in the XKS window being mistaken as signal, non‐XKS seismic arrivals in the XKS window, excessive use of null ranking, measurements from misoriented sensors and from sensors with mechanical problems, and inappropriate dismissal of usable measurements.

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