Earthquake Prediction: Modeling the Anomalous Vp/Vs Source Region

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Science  14 Feb 1975:
Vol. 187, Issue 4176, pp. 537-539
DOI: 10.1126/science.187.4176.537


Soviet observations of anomalously low values of the ratio of the compressional wave velocity to the shear wave velocity (Vp/ Vs) in a restricted volume around the locus of a future earthquake are duplicated by models based on the dilatancy hypothesis. In nature the cracks that cause the dilation may be oriented, leading to anisotropic seismic wave propagation in the anomalous region. The models show that vertical cracks are most effective in producing the observed effects, but that a slightly higher density of randomly oriented cracks will yield similar effects. The premonitory observations at Blue Mountain Lake, New York, are also duplicated by the models. These models demonstrate that Vp/Vs measured at the surface is not that of the anomalous zone, but is related to it by a transfer function, involving the shape and velocity gradient of the zone boundary.