Continuous isolated noise sources induce repeating waves in the coda of ambient noise correlations

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Sven Schippkus, Mahsa Safarkhani, Celine Hadziioannou


Continuous excitation of isolated noise sources leads to repeating wave arrivals in cross correlations of ambient seismic noise, including throughout their coda. These waves propagate from the isolated sources. We observe this effect on correlation wavefields computed from two years of field data recorded at the Gräfenberg array in Germany and two master stations in Europe. Beamforming the correlation functions in the secondary microseism frequency band reveals repeating waves incoming from distinct directions to the West, which correspond to well-known dominant microseism source locations in the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean. These emerge in addition to the expected acausal and causal correlation wavefield contributions by boundary sources, which are converging onto and diverging from the master station, respectively. Numerical simulations reproduce this observation. We first model a source repeatedly exciting a wavelet, which helps illustrate the fundamental mechanism behind repeated wave generation. Second, we model continuously acting secondary microseism sources and find good agreement with our observations. Our observations and modelling have potentially significant implications for the understanding of correlation wavefields and monitoring of relative velocity changes in particular. Velocity monitoring commonly assumes that only multiply scattered waves, originating from the master station, are present in the coda of the correlation wavefield. We show that repeating waves propagating from isolated noise sources may dominate instead, including the very late coda. Our results imply that in the presence of continuously acting noise sources, which we show is the case for ordinary recordings of ocean microseisms, velocity monitoring assuming scattered waves may be adversely affected with regard to measurement technique, spatial resolution, as well as temporal resolution. We further demonstrate that the very late coda of correlation functions contains useful signal, contrary to the common sentiment that it is dominated by instrument noise.



Geophysics and Seismology, Other Physics


Ambient seismic noise, Seismic interferometry


Published: 2023-03-17 22:35

Last Updated: 2023-11-30 22:35

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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