El-Picker: a machine learning-enhanced robust P-phase picker for real-time seismic monitoring

Identifying the arrival times of seismic P-phases plays a significant role in real-time seismic monitoring, which provides critical guidance for emergency response activities. While considerable research has been conducted on this topic, efficiently capturing the arrival times of seismic P-phases hidden within intensively distributed and noisy seismic waves, such as those generated by the aftershocks of destructive earthquakes, remains a real challenge since most common existing methods in seismology rely on laborious expert supervision. To this end, in this paper, we present a machine learning-enhanced framework based on ensemble learning strategy, EL-Picker, for the automatic identification of seismic P-phase arrivals on continuous and massive waveforms. More specifically, EL-Picker consists of three modules, namely, Trigger, Classifier, and Refiner, and an ensemble learning strategy is exploited to integrate several machine learning classifiers. An evaluation of the aftershocks following the Ms 8.0 Wenchuan earthquake demonstrates that EL-Picker can not only achieve the best identification performance but also identify 120% more seismic P-phase arrivals as complementary data. Meanwhile, experimental results also reveal both the applicability of different machine learning models for waveforms collected from different seismic stations and the regularities of seismic P-phase arrivals that might be neglected during the manual inspection. These findings clearly validate the effectiveness, efficiency, flexibility, and stability of EL-Picker.
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