Attenuation of P, S and Coda Waves in the NW-Himalayas, India

by Imtiyaz A. Parvez, Preeti Yadav, K. Nagaraj

The frequency-dependent characteristics of P- and S- wave attenuation in the upper crust of NW Himalayas have been estimated using local earthquakes for a frequency range of 1.5 to 18 Hz.

A total of 43 local events of magnitude 2.1 - 4.8, mostly from the vicinity of Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) and Main Central Thrust (MCT) have been used in the analysis. The extended coda normalization methods were applied to estimate the quality factors for P- waves (QP) and S- waves (QS) and the single back-scattering model has been used earlier (Kumar et al. [1]) to determine the quality factor for coda waves (QC).

The observed quality factors QP and QS is strongly frequency dependent and the estimated average frequency dependent relation is given by QP = (97 ± 3)f (1.06 ± 0.06) and QS = (127 ± 6)f (0.96±0.06) respectively for P- and S- waves. A comparison of QS estimated in this study and QC previously reported shows that QC > QS for entire frequency range. This indicates the enrichment of coda waves and the importance of scattering attenuation to the attenuation of S-waves in the study region infested with faults and fractures. The ratio QS/QP is found to be greater than unity for the entire frequency range indicating that the body waves from source to station paths crossed a crustal volume with dry and rigid rocks. The frequency dependent relations developed in this study can be very useful to ground motion modeling which in turn is required in the seismic hazard assessment of the region.

Source: International Journal of Geosciences, 2012, 3, 179-191, doi:10.4236/ijg.2012.31020 Published Online February 2012 (

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