An unsupervised learning algorithm: application to the discrimination of seismic events and quarry blasts in the vicinity of Istanbul
Abstract. The results of the application of an unsupervised learning (neural network) approach comprising a Self Organizing Map (SOM), to distinguish micro-earthquakes from quarry blasts in the vicinity of Istanbul, Turkey, are presented and discussed. The SOM is constructed as a neural classifier and complementary reliability estimator to distinguish seismic events, and was employed for varying map sizes. Input parameters consisting of frequency and time domain data (complexity, spectral ratio, S/P wave amplitude peak ratio and origin time of events) extracted from the vertical components of digital seismograms were estimated as discriminants for 179 (1.8 < Md < 3.0) local events. The results show that complexity and amplitude peak ratio parameters of the observed velocity seismogram may suffice for a reliable discrimination, while origin time and spectral ratio were found to be fuzzy and misleading classifiers for this problem. The SOM discussed here achieved a discrimination reliability that could be employed routinely in observatory practice; however, about 6% of all events were classified as ambiguous cases. This approach was developed independently for this particular classification, but it could be applied to different earthquake regions.