Aurélien Mordret, Roméo Courbis, Florent Brenguier, Małgorzata Chmiel, Stéphane Garambois, Shujuan Mao, Pierre Boué, Xander Campman, Thomas Lecocq, Wim Van der Veen, Dan Hollis, Noise-based ballistic wave passive seismic monitoring – Part 2: surface waves, Geophysical Journal International, Volume 221, Issue 1, April 2020, Pages 692–705

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Noise-based ballistic wave passive seismic monitoring – Part 2: surface waves

We develop a new method to monitor and locate seismic velocity changes in the subsurface using seismic noise interferometry. Contrary to most ambient noise monitoring techniques, we use the ballistic Rayleigh waves computed from 30 d records on a dense nodal array located above the Groningen gas field (the Netherlands), instead of their coda waves. We infer the daily relative phase velocity dispersion changes as a function of frequency and propagation distance with a cross-wavelet transform processing. Assuming a 1-D velocity change within the medium, the induced ballistic Rayleigh wave phase shift exhibits a linear trend as a function of the propagation distance. Measuring this trend for the fundamental mode and the first overtone of the Rayleigh waves for frequencies between 0.5 and 1.1 Hz enables us to invert for shear wave daily velocity changes in the first 1.5 km of the subsurface. The observed deep velocity changes (±1.5 per cent) are difficult to interpret given the environmental factors information available. Most of the observed shallow changes seem associated with effective pressure variations. We observe a reduction of shear wave velocity (–0.2 per cent) at the time of a large rain event accompanied by a strong decrease in atmospheric pressure loading, followed by a migration at depth of the velocity decrease. Combined with P-wave velocity changes observations from a companion paper, we interpret the changes as caused by the diffusion of effective pressure variations at depth. As a new method, noise-based ballistic wave passive monitoring could be used on several dynamic (hydro-)geological targets and in particular, it could be used to estimate hydrological parameters such as the hydraulic conductivity and diffusivity.

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