We present an approach for subspace detection of small seismic events that includes methods for estimating magnitudes and associating detections from multiple stations into unique events. The process is used to identify mining related seismicity from a surface coal mine and an underground coal mining district, both located in the Western U.S. Using a blasting log and a locally derived seismic catalogue as ground truth, we assess detector performance in terms of verified detections, false positives and failed detections. We are able to correctly identify over 95 per cent of the surface coal mine blasts and about 33 per cent of the events from the underground mining district, while keeping the number of potential false positives relatively low by requiring all detections to occur on two stations. We find that most of the potential false detections for the underground coal district are genuine events missed by the local seismic network, demonstrating the usefulness of regional subspace detectors in augmenting local catalogues. We note a trade-off in detection performance between stations at smaller source–receiver distances, which have increased signal-to-noise ratio, and stations at larger distances, which have greater waveform similarity. We also explore the increased detection capabilities of a single higher dimension subspace detector, compared to multiple lower dimension detectors, in identifying events that can be described as linear combinations of training events. We find, in our data set, that such an advantage can be significant, justifying the use of a subspace detection scheme over conventional correlation methods.
Oxford University Press
on behalf of
The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).