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Solid Earth ; 14(5):529-549, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2322957


The sediments underneath Mexico City have unique mechanical properties that give rise to strong site effects. We investigated temporal changes in the seismic velocity at strong-motion and broadband seismic stations throughout Mexico City, including sites with different geologic characteristics ranging from city center locations situated on lacustrine clay to hillside locations on volcanic bedrock. We used autocorrelations of urban seismic noise, enhanced by waveform clustering, to extract subtle seismic velocity changes by coda wave interferometry. We observed and modeled seasonal, co- and post-seismic changes, as well as a long-term linear trend in seismic velocity. Seasonal variations can be explained by self-consistent models of thermoelastic and poroelastic changes in the subsurface shear wave velocity. Overall, sites on lacustrine clay-rich sediments appear to be more sensitive to seasonal surface temperature changes, whereas sites on alluvial and volcaniclastic sediments and on bedrock are sensitive to precipitation. The 2017 Mw 7.1 Puebla and 2020 Mw 7.4 Oaxaca earthquakes both caused a clear drop in seismic velocity, followed by a time-logarithmic recovery that may still be ongoing for the 2017 event at several sites or that may remain incomplete. The slope of the linear trend in seismic velocity is correlated with the downward vertical displacement of the ground measured by interferometric synthetic aperture radar, suggesting a causative relationship and supporting earlier studies on changes in the resonance frequency of sites in the Mexico City basin due to groundwater extraction. Our findings show how sensitively shallow seismic velocity and, in consequence, site effects react to environmental, tectonic and anthropogenic processes. They also demonstrate that urban strong-motion stations provide useful data for coda wave monitoring given sufficiently high-amplitude urban seismic noise.