Recent studies have shown that deep tremor in the Nankai Trough under western Shikoku consists of a swarm of low frequency earthquakes (LFEs) that occur as slow shear slip on the down-dip extension of the primary seismogenic zone of the plate interface. The similarity of tremor in other locations suggests a similar mechanism, but the absence of cataloged low frequency earthquakes prevents a similar analysis. In this study, we develop a method for identifying LFEs within tremor. The method employs a matched-filter algorithm, similar to the technique used to infer that tremor in parts of Shikoku is comprised of LFEs; however, in this case we do not assume the origin times or locations of any LFEs a priori. We search for LFEs using the running autocorrelation of tremor waveforms for 6 Hi-Net stations in the vicinity of the tremor source. Time lags showing strong similarity in the autocorrelation represent either repeats, or near repeats, of LFEs within the tremor. We test the method on an hour of Hi-Net recordings of tremor and demonstrates that it extracts both known and previously unidentified LFEs. Once identified, we cross correlate waveforms to measure relative arrival times and locate the LFEs. The results are able to explain most of the tremor as a swarm of LFEs and the locations of newly identified events appear to fill a gap in the spatial distribution of known LFEs. This method should allow us to extend the analysis of Shelly et al. (2007a) to parts of the Nankai Trough in Shikoku that have sparse LFE coverage, and may also allow us to extend our analysis to other regions that experience deep tremor, but where LFEs have not yet been identified. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
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An autocorrelation method to detect low frequency earthquakes within tremor