Locating earthquakes from the beginning of the modern instrumental period is complicated by the fact that there are few good-quality seismograms and what traveltimes do exist may be corrupted by both large phase-pick errors and clock errors. Here, we outline a Bayesian approach to simultaneous inference of not only the hypocentre location but also the clock errors at each station and the origin time of the earthquake. This methodology improves the solution for the source location and also provides an uncertainty analysis on all of the parameters included in the inversion. As an example, we applied this Bayesian approach to the well-studied 1909 Mw 7 Taipei earthquake. While our epicentre location and origin time for the 1909 Taipei earthquake are consistent with earlier studies, our focal depth is significantly shallower suggesting a higher seismic hazard to the populous Taipei metropolitan area than previously supposed.
Additional publication details
Bayesian historical earthquake relocation: an example from the 1909 Taipei earthquake