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A physical model for seismic noise generation from sediment transport in rivers

Tsai, Victor C. and Minchew, Brent and Lamb, Michael P. and Ampuero, Jean-Paul (2012) A physical model for seismic noise generation from sediment transport in rivers. Geophysical Research Letters, 39 (L2). Art. No. L02404. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2011GL050255.

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Measuring sediment flux in rivers remains a significant problem in studies of landscape evolution. Recent studies suggest that observations of seismic noise near rivers can help provide such measurements, but the lack of models linking observed seismic quantities to sediment flux has prevented the method from being used. Here, we develop a forward model to describe the seismic noise induced by the transport of sediment in rivers. The model provides an expression for the power spectral density (PSD) of the Rayleigh waves generated by impulsive impacts from saltating particles which scales linearly with the number of particles of a given size and the square of the linear momentum. After incorporating expressions for the impact velocity and rate of impacts for fluvially transported sediment, we observe that the seismic noise PSD is strongly dependent on the sediment size, such that good constraints on grain size distribution are needed for reliable estimates of sediment flux based on seismic noise observations. The model predictions for the PSD are consistent with recent measurements and, based on these data, a first attempt at inverting seismic noise for the sediment flux is provided.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Tsai, Victor C.0000-0003-1809-6672
Minchew, Brent0000-0002-5991-3926
Lamb, Michael P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Ampuero, Jean-Paul0000-0002-4827-7987
Additional Information:© 2012 by the American Geophysical Union. Received 3 November 2011; revised 28 December 2011; accepted 28 December 2011; published 28 January 2012. The authors thank J.-P. Avouac, L. Bollinger, and J. Lavé for helpful comments, and thank J. Johnson and L. Sklar for thoughtful reviews. This research was partially supported by NSF grant EAR0922199 to MPL. The Editor thanks Joel Johnson and Leonard Sklar for their assistance in evaluating this paper.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:analytical model; bedload; sediment transport; seismic noise
Issue or Number:L2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120228-092625703
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Official Citation:Tsai, V. C., B. Minchew, M. P. Lamb, and J.-P. Ampuero (2012), A physical model for seismic noise generation from sediment transport in rivers, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L02404, doi:10.1029/2011GL050255.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29501
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Feb 2012 23:39
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 17:07

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