Optimization of Broadband Seismic Network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • Abdulrahman Alshuhail

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Saudi Arabia covers a large portion of the Arabian plate, a region characterized by seismic activity, along complex divergent and convergent plate boundaries. In order to understand these plate boundaries it is essential to optimize the design of the broadband seismic station network to accurately locate earthquakes. In my study, I apply an optimization method to design the broadband station distribution in Saudi Arabia. This method is based on so called D-optimal planning criterion that optimizes the station distribution for locating the hypocenters of earthquakes. Two additional adjustments were implemented: to preferentially acquire direct and refracted wave, and to account for geometric spreading of seismic waves (and thus increases the signal to noise ratio). The method developed in this study for optimizing the geographical location of broadband stations uses the probability of earthquake occurrence and a 1-D velocity model of the region, and minimizes the ellipsoid volume of the earthquake location errors. The algorithm was applied to the current seismic network, operated by the Saudi Geologic Survey (SGS). Based on the results, I am able to make recommendations on, how to expand the existing network. Furthermore, I quantify the efficiency of our method by computing the standard error of epicenter and depth before and after adding the proposed stations.
Date of AwardMay 2011
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Science and Engineering
SupervisorMartin Mai (Supervisor)

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