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Distributed sensing of microseisms and teleseisms with submarine dark fibers

Williams, Ethan F. and Fernández-Ruiz, María R. and Magalhaes, Regina and Vanthillo, Roel and Zhan, Zhongwen and González-Herráez, Miguel and Martins, Hugo F. (2019) Distributed sensing of microseisms and teleseisms with submarine dark fibers. Nature Communications, 10 . Art. No. 5778. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC6920360. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13262-7.

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Sparse seismic instrumentation in the oceans limits our understanding of deep Earth dynamics and submarine earthquakes. Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS), an emerging technology that converts optical fiber to seismic sensors, allows us to leverage pre-existing submarine telecommunication cables for seismic monitoring. Here we report observations of microseism, local surface gravity waves, and a teleseismic earthquake along a 4192-sensor ocean-bottom DAS array offshore Belgium. We observe in-situ how opposing groups of ocean surface gravity waves generate double-frequency seismic Scholte waves, as described by the Longuet-Higgins theory of microseism generation. We also extract P- and S-wave phases from the 2018-08-19 M_w8.2 Fiji deep earthquake in the 0.01-1 Hz frequency band, though waveform fidelity is low at high frequencies. These results suggest significant potential of DAS in next-generation submarine seismic networks.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper CentralArticle
Williams, Ethan F.0000-0002-7917-4104
Fernández-Ruiz, María R.0000-0003-3561-2405
Magalhaes, Regina0000-0003-4666-0840
Zhan, Zhongwen0000-0002-5586-2607
González-Herráez, Miguel0000-0003-2555-2971
Martins, Hugo F.0000-0003-3927-8125
Alternate Title:Teleseisms and microseisms on an 2 ocean-bottom distributed acoustic sensing array
Additional Information:© 2019 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 20 May 2019; Accepted 21 October 2019; Published 18 December 2019. We thank Jörn Callies, Victor Tsai, and Andrew Thompson for insightful discussions. This work was supported in part by the members of the Space Innovation Council at Caltech, the Caltech-JPL President’s and Director’s Research and Development Fund (PDRDF), the DOMINO Water JPI project under the WaterWorks2014 cofounded call by EC Horizon 2020 and Spanish MINECO, and the regional program SINFOTON2-CM: P2018/NMT-4326. E.F.W. was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. M.R.F.-R. and H.F.M. acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (MICINN) under contract nos. FJCI-2016-27881 and IJCI-2017-33856, respectively. R.M. acknowledges financial support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action grant agreement no. 722509EU (ITN-FINESSE). Z.Z. acknowledges support under NSF CAREER Award 1848166. M.G.-H. acknowledges funding from the Spanish MINECO through projects TEC2015-71127-C2-2-R and RTI2018-097957-B-C31. Data availability: Raw strain records from the BDASA are available on a public data repository at More information about reading and processing data files can be obtained from the authors upon request. Code availability: All codes required to reproduce the figures in this paper are written in Python and available from the authors upon request. Author Contributions: E.F.W., M.R.F.-R., and H.F.M. carried out data analysis and wrote the manuscript; R.M. and R.V. acquired the data; Z.Z. and M.G.-H. advised data analysis and edited the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.
Group:Center for Geomechanics and Mitigation of Geohazards (GMG), Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Space Innovation CouncilUNSPECIFIED
JPL President and Director's FundUNSPECIFIED
Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER)SINFOTON2-CM: P2018/NMT-4326
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (CIENCIA)FJCI-2016-27881
Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (CIENCIA)IJCI-2017-33856
Marie Curie Fellowship722509EU
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)TEC2015-71127-C2-2-R
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO)RTI2018-097957-B-C31
Subject Keywords:Ocean sciences; Optics and photonics; Solid Earth sciences
PubMed Central ID:PMC6920360
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191217-192034541
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Williams, E.F., Fernández-Ruiz, M.R., Magalhaes, R. et al. Distributed sensing of microseisms and teleseisms with submarine dark fibers. Nat Commun 10, 5778 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13262-7
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100337
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:18 Dec 2019 03:39
Last Modified:15 Nov 2022 21:38

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