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In the laterally heterogeneous and anisotropic Earth the particle motions of seismic waves are three-dimensionally polarized. This paper presents a method for determining a local wave coordinate system using the zeros of some component operators in rotated systems. It is applicable to broad-band composite waveforms and offers higher precision and resolution for the determination of azimuth and incidence angle than the usual least-squares techniques. The algorithms have been implemented in an interactive program for preprocessing three-component digital recordings. In addition, the program allows the use of particle motion diagrams and component products for the determination of wave types, onset times and pulse durations. Its performance is demonstrated on regional and teleseismic events recorded at the European broad-band stations GRF (Grafenberg, West Germany), KRC (Kasperske Hory, Czechoslovakia) and KSP (Ksiaz, Poland).
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