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Empirical relationship between moment magnitude and Nuttli magnitude for small-magnitude earthquakes in southeastern Canada



Empirical relationship between moment magnitude and Nuttli magnitude for small-magnitude earthquakes in southeastern Canada



Seismological Research Letters 76(6): 752-755



The most common catalog magnitude for eastern North America is the Nuttli magnitude (Nuttli, 1973), referred to as M (sub N) or M (sub bLg) . The Nuttli magnitude is based on the amplitude of the L (sub g) phase (multiply reflected and refracted shear waves). M (sub N) is quickly and easily determined from the time series, making it convenient for routine catalog purposes. The moment magnitude scale (Hanks and Kanamori, 1979) is generally preferred by seismologists for many applications, as it is more reflective of the actual size of the earthquake. Moment magnitude (M), however, is more difficult to routinely determine reliably, especially for small to moderate earthquakes. Thus it is useful to develop empirical relationships between M and M (sub N) so that M can be estimated for events for which only M (sub N) has been determined. Atkinson (1993) developed the empirical relationship M = 0.98 M (sub N) -0.39 (1) for eastern North American earthquakes within the magnitude range of 4 < M (sub N) < 6. In this note, we extend this relationship below M (sub N) 4, using well recorded small earthquakes in the Charlevoix seismic zone (CSZ) of southeastern Canada, where the relatively dense Charlevoix array of the Canadian National Seismographic Network (CNSN) has been active since 1994. Seven seismographic stations comprise the Charlevoix array, separated by no more than 40 km, as shown in Figure 1; events of magnitude as small as M (sub N) 1.0 are usually well recorded (Lamontagne, 1999). We combine the calculated moment magnitudes from the CSZ earthquakes of small magnitude and the data presented by Atkinson (1993) to form a new, more robust equation that is applicable for earthquakes of 1< or =M (sub N) < or =6.S.

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Accession: 018829928

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DOI: 10.1785/gssrl.76.6.752


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