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Seismic Attenuation Anisotropy in the Southernmost Part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, North Island, New Zealand

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posted on 12.01.2022, 01:48 by Syuhada, Syuhada

We investigate the mechanisms of seismic anisotropy and attenuation (1/Q) beneath the southernmost part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ) by computing variations in S-wave attenuation factors with the direction of wave polarization. We rotate pairs of horizontal components in steps of 22.5◦ from 0◦ to 67.5◦ and into the radial and transverse directions to search for the optimal separation of the attenuation curves and thereby determine an anisotropy symmetry system. The frequency dependence of Q for the rotated S-waves is estimated by means of the non-parametric generalized inversion technique (GIT) of Castro et al. (1990) using shallow earthquakes (< 40 km depth) recorded by GeoNet within 100 km of Mt. Ruapehu. To analyze the effects on computed attenuation properties of source locations, we divide our dataset into two groups: a “TVZ” group containing earthquakes within the TVZ in a distance range of 5–55 km and a “non-TVZ” group containing earthquakes outside the TVZ in a distance range of 5–50 km. To measure Q, we compute the spectral amplitude decay with distance in terms of empirical functions at 20 separate frequencies in the frequency bands 2–10 Hz and 2– 12 Hz for the TVZ and non-TVZ datasets respectively. We construct homogeneous and two-layer Q models for the TVZ dataset based on characteristic features of the attenuation function, while for outside TVZ we only analyse a homogeneous Q model. The homogeneous Q models obtained for the two datasets indicate that S-waves are more attenuated within the TVZ than outside. The homogeneous Q model for the TVZ dataset reveals that the S-wave is anisotropic at high frequencies ( f > 6 Hz) along N–S/E– W directions with the relation QSE ( f ) = (6.15±1.22) f (1.73±0.12) and QSN ( f ) = (4.14± 1.26) f (2.06±0.14), while the non-TVZ dataset shows a weak frequency dependence of attenuation anisotropy at low frequencies in NE–SW/SE–NW directions giving the power law function QSNE ( f ) = (50.93±1.18) f (0.20±0.10) and QSSE ( f ) = (22.60±1.10) f (0.53±0.06). Here, the uncertainty estimates are 95% confidence intervals. To investigate the variation of attenuation anisotropy with depth within the TVZ, we first calculate Q along propagation paths (< 25 km, which corresponds to a maximum turning point depth of 9 km ) and then using paths of 25–55 km length. Small attenuation anisotropy with low attenuation in the N–S direction for the upper crust of TVZ may be related to heterogenous structure as reported by previous studies. Attenuation anisotropy in the northwest direction yielding lower attenuation inferred for the deeper crust suggests the presence of connected melt aligned with the extension direction of TVZ .


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Savage, Martha