PhaseNet: A Deep-Neural-Network-Based Seismic Arrival Time Picking Method

by   Weiqiang Zhu, et al.

As the number of seismic sensors grows, it is becoming increasingly difficult for analysts to pick seismic phases manually and comprehensively, yet such efforts are fundamental to earthquake monitoring. Despite years of improvements in automatic phase picking, it is difficult to match the performance of experienced analysts. A more subtle issue is that different seismic analysts may pick phases differently, which can introduce bias into earthquake locations. We present a deep-neural-network-based arrival-time picking method called "PhaseNet" that picks the arrival times of both P and S waves. Deep neural networks have recently made rapid progress in feature learning, and with sufficient training, have achieved super-human performance in many applications. PhaseNet uses three-component seismic waveforms as input and generates probability distributions of P arrivals, S arrivals, and noise as output. We engineer PhaseNet such that peaks in probability provide accurate arrival times for both P and S waves, and have the potential to increase the number of S-wave observations dramatically over what is currently available. This will enable both improved locations and improved shear wave velocity models. PhaseNet is trained on the prodigious available data set provided by analyst-labeled P and S arrival times from the Northern California Earthquake Data Center. The dataset we use contains more than seven million waveform samples extracted from over thirty years of earthquake recordings. We demonstrate that PhaseNet achieves much higher picking accuracy and recall rate than existing methods.


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