Regional seismic-wave propagation from the M5.8 23 August 2011, Mineral, Virginia, earthquake

GSA Special Papers
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Abstract

The M5.8 23 August 2011 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake was felt over nearly the entire eastern United States and was recorded by a wide array of seismic broadband instruments. The earthquake occurred ~200 km southeast of the boundary between two distinct geologic belts, the Piedmont and Blue Ridge terranes to the southeast and the Valley and Ridge Province to the northwest. At a dominant period of 3 s, coherent postcritical P-wave (i.e., direct longitudinal waves trapped in the crustal waveguide) arrivals persist to a much greater distance for propagation paths toward the northwest quadrant than toward other directions; this is probably related to the relatively high crustal thickness beneath and west of the Appalachian Mountains. The seismic surface-wave arrivals comprise two distinct classes: those with weakly dispersed Rayleigh waves and those with strongly dispersed Rayleigh waves. We attribute the character of Rayleigh wave arrivals in the first class to wave propagation through a predominantly crystalline crust (Blue Ridge Mountains and Piedmont terranes) with a relatively thin veneer of sedimentary rock, whereas the temporal extent of the Rayleigh wave arrivals in the second class are well explained as the effect of the thick sedimentary cover of the Valley and Ridge Province and adjacent Appalachian Plateau province to its northwest. Broadband surface-wave ground velocity is amplified along both north-northwest and northeast azimuths from the Mineral, Virginia, source. The former may arise from lateral focusing effects arising from locally thick sedimentary cover in the Appalachian Basin, and the latter may result from directivity effects due to a northeast rupture propagation along the finite fault plane.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Regional seismic-wave propagation from the M5.8 23 August 2011, Mineral, Virginia, earthquake
Series title GSA Special Papers
DOI 10.1130/2014.2509(06)
Volume 509
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 22 p.
First page 95
Last page 116
Country United States