Rayleigh Wave Attenuation Tomography in the Crust of the Chinese Mainland

Lianqing Zhou, Xiaodong Song, Xiaoning Yang, Cuiping Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we report a first major effort to measure surface wave amplitudes and to map attenuation structures of the Chinese mainland with dense modern broadband seismic networks in the country. We developed a method of phase-matched filtering to automatically extract fundamental-mode Rayleigh waves and to measure the spectral amplitudes. The results are compatible with those from the previous manual method with great improvement in efficiency. Using the automatic method, we extracted a large quantity of the amplitudes of Rayleigh waves at periods of 10 and 20 s recorded by 141 broadband stations from the China Digital Seismograph Network and 656 broadband stations from the China Regional Seismic Network. We performed tomographic inversions using the method of two-station amplitude ratios and obtained images of the surface wave attenuation maps at periods of 10 and 20 s for the Chinese mainland. The tomographic model resolution reaches 1–2° in central and eastern China, 3–5° in western China, and 5° in the southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau and northeastern China. The tomographic results demonstrate good correspondence with geological structures. The distribution of strong historical earthquakes indicates that in the Chinese mainland, these earthquakes occurred mainly in high-attenuation areas or the junctions between high- and low-attenuation areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020GC008971
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Chinese mainland
  • amplitude measurement
  • attenuation tomography
  • phase-matched filtering
  • seismic surface waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Rayleigh Wave Attenuation Tomography in the Crust of the Chinese Mainland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this