A search for temporal variations in station terms in Southern California from 1984 to 2002

Guoqing Lin, Peter M. Shearer, Egill Hauksson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We use relative arrival times and locations for similar earthquake pairs that are found using a cross-correlation method to analyze the time dependence of P and S station terms in southern California from 1984 to 2002. We examine 494 similar event clusters recorded by Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN) stations and compute absolute arrival-time variations from the differential arrival-time residuals obtained following event relocation. We compute station terms from the robust means of the absolute arrival-time residuals from all events recorded by each station at 3-month intervals. We observe nine stations with abrupt offsets in timing of 20-70 msec, which are likely caused by equipment changes during our study period. Taking these changes into account could improve the relative location accuracy for some of the event clusters. For other stations, we generally do not see systematic temporal variations greater than about 10 msec. Analysis of residuals along individual ray paths does not reveal any clear localized regions of apparent velocity changes at depth. These results limit large-scale, long-lasting temporal variations in P and S velocities across southern California during this time period to less than about ±0.2%. However, there is an increased fraction of individual travel-time residuals exceeding 20 msec immediately following major earthquakes from source regions near the main-shock rupture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2118-2132
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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