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Regional variations of seismic attenuation in metropolitan France from observations and modeling of the seismic coda

Abstract : Attenuation is a key parameter for seismic hazard assessment. It plays an important role in the observed variability of ground motion amplitude and duration. There are two main causes for attenuation of short period seismic waves (f>1Hz, with f the frequency) : (1) absorption, quantified by the quality factor Qi ; and (2) scattering, quantified by Qsc. The main objective of this thesis is to map the seismic attenuation in Metropolitan France and to determine the relative importance of these two processes. To model the transport of multiply-scattered seismic waves - also known as the seismic coda - we employ a scalar version of the radiative transfer equation with spatially dependent absorption and scattering properties. The sensitivity kernels of the coda intensity to spatial variations of Qi and Qsc are computed in 2-D isotropically and anisotropically scattering media. The coda quality factor Qc (f) - quantifying the decay rate of the seismic coda energy - have been estimated on a collection of 120000 waveforms recorded in France, Belgium and in the Alpine range. According to the theory developed in this thesis, we establish a linearized approximate relation between the coda quality factor Qc (f) and the absorption quality factor Qi. This relation is expressed as an integral along the direct ray path connecting the source to the station. This approximation is used to map regional variations of absorption in the Alps and in Metropolitan France between 1 and 32Hz. Our maps reveal strong lateral variations (±30%) of absorption in the crust. At low frequency (f~1Hz), the correlation between sedimentary deposits and high absorption regions is clear : strong absorption zones are localized on the poorly consolidated sedimentary series while low absorption regions correspond to the basement which outcrops in the Massif Armoricain, the Massif Central and in the mountain ranges as the Pyrenees or the Alps. At high frequency (f~24Hz), the correlation between surface geology and absorption structures tends to disappear. We hypothesize that the frequency dependence of the attenuation structure is caused by a change of the wavefield composition which accentuates the sensitivity of the coda to the deeper parts of the medium as the frequency increases. Finally, we initiate the implementation of the exact 2D isotropic sensitivity kernels to retrieve the crustal absorption structures. Using the linear relation between Qc and Qi, we obtain the first absorption map which takes into account the precise spatio-temporal sensitivity of coda waves. The inverse problem is solved with a singular value decomposition approach. The preliminary map of Qi for the Pyrenees is promising. Our results constitute a solid theoretical basis to develop linearized inversions of Qsc and Qi from the analysis of the seismic coda. They also significantly improve the knowledge of the regional variations of seismic attenuation in Metropolitan France. Our maps provide new insights on the crustal structure of the Alpine Range in complement to seismic velocity images. These attenuation maps have direct implication for the design of future seismic hazard maps.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01523277, version 1

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Jessie Mayor. Regional variations of seismic attenuation in metropolitan France from observations and modeling of the seismic coda. Earth and Planetary Astrophysics [astro-ph.EP]. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016TOU30048⟩. ⟨tel-01523277⟩

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