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Authors: Gentili, S.* 
Franceschina, G.* 
Title: High frequency attenuation of shear waves in Southeastern Alps and Northern Dinarides
Journal: Geophysical Journal International 
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Issue Date: 2011
Keywords: Earthquake source observations
Body waves
Seismic attenuation
Site effects
Wave propagation
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.04. Ground motion 
Abstract: We investigated the high frequency attenuation of S-waves in Southeastern Alps and Northern External Dinarides using waveforms from 331 earthquakes (3.0< Mw< 6.5). The spectral decay parameter, k, was computed using 1345 three component high quality records, collected by the Italian Strong Motion Network (RAN) and by the Short-Period Seismometric Network of North-Eastern Italy (NEI) in the period 1976-2007. Weak motion data from 11 stations of the NEI network and strong motion data collected by 5 accelerometers of the RAN were analyzed. The k parameter was estimated in the 0-250 Km distance range, in a frequency band extending from the corner frequency of the event up to 25 or 45 Hz, using the amplitude acceleration Fourier spectra of S-waves. The observed record-to-record variability of k was modeled by applying a generalized inversion procedure, using both parametric and non-parametric approaches. Our results evidence that k is independent on earthquake size, while it shows both site and distance dependence. Stations of the NEI network present the same increase of k with epicentral distance, Re, and show values of the zero-distance k parameter, k0(S), between 0.017 and 0.053 s. For the whole region, the k increase with distance can be described through a linear model with slope dk/dRe = (1.4±0.1)x10^(-4) s/Km. Assuming an average S-wave velocity, <Vs>=3.34 Km/s between 5 and 15 Km depth, we estimate an average frequency independent quality factor, <Qi>=2140, for the corresponding crustal layer. The non-parametric approach evidences a weak positive concavity of the curve that describes the k increase with Re at about 90 Km distance. This result can be approximated through a piecewise linear function with slopes of 1.0x10^(-4) s/Km and 1.7x10^(-4) s/Km, in accordance with a three layers model where moving from the intermediate to the bottom layer both <Qi> and <Vs> decrease. Two regional dependences were found: data from earthquakes located westward to the NEI network evidence weaker attenuation properties, probably because of S-wave reflections from different part of the Moho discontinuity under the eastern Po Plain, at about 25-30 Km depth, while earthquakes located eastward (in western Slovenia), where the Moho deepens up to 45-50 Km, evidence a higher attenuation. Moreover, the k estimates obtained with data from earthquakes located in the area of the 1998 (Mw=5.7) and 2004 (Mw=5.2) Kobarid events are 0.017 s higher than the values predicted for the whole region, probably because of the high level of fracturing that characterizes fault zones. The comparison between measured and theoretical values of k, computed at a few stations with available S-wave velocity profiles, reveals that the major contribution to the total k0(S) is due to the sedimentary column (from surface to 800 m depth). The hard rock section contribution is limited to 0.005 s, in accordance with a maximum contribution of 0.010 s predicted by the non-parametric inversion.
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