Arrival Times (from USGS)

Arrival time list

Felt Map

USGS Felt map for this earthquake

USGS Felt reports page for Central US

Focal Mechanism

The focal mechanism was determined using broadband seismic waveforms. The location of the event and the station distribution are given in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Location of broadband stations used to obtain focal mechanism

Focal Mechanism

Strike = 275 Strike = 184
Dip = 75 Dip = 85
Rake = 5 Rake = 165
Mw = 4.59 Depth = 12 km

Surface-wave analysis

Surface wave analysis was performed using codes from Computer Programs in Seismology, specifically the multiple filter analysis program do_mft and the surface-wave radiation pattern search program srfgrd96.

Data preparation

Digital data were collected, intreument response removed and traces converted to Z, R an T components. Multiple filter analysis was applied to the Z and T traces to obtain the Rayleigh- and Love-wave spectral amplitudes, respectively. These were input to the search program which examined all depths between 1 and 25 km and all possible mechanisms. The figure
Best mechanism fit as a function of depth. the preferred depth is 8 km

Love-wave radiation patterns

Rayleigh-wave radiation patterns

Waveform comparison for this mechanism

Since the analysis of the surface-wave radiation patterns uses only spectral amplitudes and because the surfave-wave radiation patterns have a 180 degree symmetry, each surface-wave solution consists of four possible focal mechanisms corresponding to the interchange of the P- and T-axes and a roation of the mechanism by 180 degrees. To select one mechanism, P-wave first motion can be used. This was not possible in this case because all the P-wave first motions were emergent ( a feature of the P-wave wave takeoff angle, the station location and the mechanism). The other way to select among the mechanisms is to compute forward synthetics and compare the osberved and predicted waveforms.

Good first motions at WCI(+), SIUC(+), NHSC(+) and PRAL(-) provide the constriant for th emchanism.

A test of the mechanism is made by comparing observed and predicted waveforms at selected stations. The stations are

Station     Distance(km)      Azimuth(deg)
LRAL         218                 219
PLAL         241                 282
WVT          274                 310
WCI          414                 350
USIN         426                 333
SIUC         485                 317
BLO          521                 350

The fits to the waveforms are show below:

This figure shows the fiot to the three components of motion (Z - vertical, R-radial and T - transverse). For each station and component, the observed traces is shown in red and the model predicted trace in green. The traces represent filtered ground velocity in units of meters/sec (the peak value is printed adjacent to each trace; each pair of traces to plotted to the same scale to emphasize the difference in levels). Both synthetic and observed traces have been filtered using the SAC commands:

	hp c 0.02 np 2
	lp c 0.10 np 2

Differences in the large surface wave arrivals point out the need for better earth structure models for the Gulf Coastal plain. Paths to the north (WVT, WCI, USIN and BLO) have good fits, indicating the adequacy of the CUS model used.

The transverse recording at MPH (Memphis) is very interesting and illustraces the profound effects of the deep sediment column beneath Memphis on the site response.
Filtered transverse component gound velocity (meters/sec) at Memphis. Bottom (lp c 1.0 np 2); Center (lp c 0.25 np 2) ; Top ( lp c 0.10 np 2)
The long reverberation is also present on the radial component, but is not as monochromatic as for the transverse component.

Other Earthquakes in the Area

The Maryville, TN earthquake occurred on November 30, 1973 (35.8N, 84.0W) at 07:48:41 UT. Herrmann (1979) presented a surface-wave focal mechanism for this event which had a strike of 189, dip of 70 and rake of 150, depth of 13 km and moment magnitude of 4.08. This mechanism is very similar to the April 29, 2003 earthquake.

Herrmann, R. B.(1979). Surface wave focal mechanisms for eastern North American earthquakes with tectonic implications, J. Geophys. Res.84, 3543-3552

The Future

Should the national backbone of the USGS Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) be implemented with an interstation separation of 300 km, it is very likely that an earthquake such as this would have been recorded at distances on the order of 100-200 km. This means that the closest station would have information on source depth and mechanism that was lacking here.


Dr. Harley Benz, USGS, provided the USGS USNSN digital data.


The figures below show the observed spectral amplitudes (units of cm-sec) at each station and the theoretical predictions as a function of period for the mechanism given above. The CUS earth model was used to define the Green's functions.

Last Changed 03/05/02