Improvements to Earthquake Location with a Fuzzy Logic Approach


PURE AND APPLIED GEOPHYSICS, vol.175, no.1, pp.341-363, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 175 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00024-017-1688-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.341-363
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


In this study, improvements to the earthquake location method were investigated using a fuzzy logic approach proposed by Lin and Sanford (Bull Seismol Soc Am 91:82-93, 2001). The method has certain advantages compared to the inverse methods in terms of eliminating the uncertainties of arrival times and reading errors. In this study, adopting this approach, epicentral locations were determined based on the results of a fuzzy logic space concerning the uncertainties in the velocity models. To map the uncertainties in arrival times into the fuzzy logic space, a trapezoidal membership function was constructed by directly using the travel time difference between the two stations for the P- and S-arrival times instead of the P- and S-wave models to eliminate the need for obtaining information concerning the velocity structure of the study area. The results showed that this method worked most effectively when earthquakes occurred away from a network or when the arrival time data contained phase reading errors. In this study, to resolve the problems related to determining the epicentral locations of the events, a forward modeling method like the grid search technique was used by applying different logical operations (i.e., intersection, union, and their combination) with a fuzzy logic approach. The locations of the events were depended on results of fuzzy logic outputs in fuzzy logic space by searching in a gridded region. The process of location determination with the defuzzification of only the grid points with the membership value of 1 obtained by normalizing all the maximum fuzzy output values of the highest values resulted in more reliable epicentral locations for the earthquakes than the other approaches. In addition, throughout the process, the center-of-gravity method was used as a defuzzification operation.