We have been developing an accurate and efficient numerical scheme, which uses the finite-difference method (FDM) in spherical coordinates, for the computation of global seismic wave propagation through laterally heterogeneous realistic Earth models. In the field of global seismology, traditional axisymmetric modeling has been used widely as an efficient approach since it can solve the 3-D elastodynamic equation in spherical coordinates on a 2-D cross-section of the Earth, assuming structures to be invariant with respect to the axis through the seismic source. However, it has the severe disadvantages that asymmetric structures about the axis cannot be incorporated and the source mechanisms with arbitrary shear dislocation have not been attempted for a long time. Our scheme is based on the framework of axisymmetric modeling but has been extended to treat asymmetric structures, arbitrary moment-tensor point sources, anelastic attenuation, and the Earth center which is a singularity of wave equations in spherical coordinates. All these types of schemes which solve 3-D wavefields on a 2-D model cross-section are classified as 2.5-D modeling, so we have named our scheme the spherical 2.5-D FDM. In this study, we compare synthetic seismograms calculated using our FDM scheme with three-component observed long-period seismograms including data from stations newly installed in Antarctica in conjunction with the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008. Seismic data from inland Antarctica are expected to reveal images of the Earth's deep interior with enhanced resolution because of the high signal-to-noise ratio and wide extent of this region, in addition to the rarity of sampling paths along the rotation axis of the Earth. We calculate synthetic seismograms through the preliminary reference earth model (PREM) including attenuation using a moment-tensor point source for the November 9, 2009 Fiji earthquake. Our results show quite good agreement between synthetic and observed seismograms, which indicates the accuracy of observations in the Antarctica, as well as the feasibility of the spherical 2.5-D modeling scheme.
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