Identification of similar seismic events is important for precise estimation of source locations and for evaluation of subsurface structure. Phase-only correlation is well known as a real-time image-matching method for fingerprint identification. I applied the phase-only correlation in a geophysical context to identify similar waveforms among microseismic events. The waveforms were first transformed into time-varying spectral representations to express frequency content in the time-frequency domain. The phase-only correlation function is calculated between two time-varying spectral representations and similarity is evaluated using the peak value of the phase-only correlation function. This method was applied to arbitrarily selected waveforms from aftershocks of an earthquake in Japan to assess its ability to identify similar waveforms perturbed by white noise. The detection of similarity of the proposed algorithm was compared to the similarity as detected by a 2D crosscorrelation function of the time-varying spectral representation and a 1D crosscorrelation of the raw waveform. This showed that the phase-only correlation function exhibits a sharp peak that quantifies similarity and dissimilarity over a wide range of signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and remained unaffected by the length of the time window used to estimate time-varying spectral representations. Phase-only correlation may also have applications in other geophysical analyses and interpretations that are based on waveform and seismic image data.
- Spectral analysis