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Published November 21, 2010 | public
Journal Article Open

Characterization of the seismic environment at the Sanford Underground Laboratory, South Dakota


An array of seismometers is being developed at the Sanford Underground Laboratory, the former Homestake mine, in South Dakota to study the properties of underground seismic fields and Newtonian noise, and to investigate the possible advantages of constructing a third-generation gravitational-wave detector underground. Seismic data were analyzed to characterize seismic noise and disturbances. External databases were used to identify sources of seismic waves: ocean-wave data to identify sources of oceanic microseisms and surface wind-speed data to investigate correlations with seismic motion as a function of depth. In addition, sources of events contributing to the spectrum at higher frequencies are characterized by studying the variation of event rates over the course of a day. Long-term observations of spectral variations provide further insight into the nature of seismic sources. Seismic spectra at three different depths are compared, establishing the 4100 ft level as a world-class low seismic-noise environment.

Additional Information

© 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 19 June 2010, in final form 15 September 2010 Published 19 October 2010. We thank the staff at the Sanford Underground Laboratory and the LIGO Laboratory for their support. LIGO is operated for the National Science Foundation (NSF) by the California Institute of Technology under Cooperative Agreement PHY-0757058. This work has been performed with the support of the European Commission under the Framework Programme 7 (FP7) Capacities, project Einstein Telescope design study (Grant Agreement 211743), http://www.et-gw.eu/. This work is part of the research programme of the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), which is financially supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The work of JH, SD, SK and VM was supported by the NSF grant no PHY-0758036 and by the University of Minnesota. MC and NC's work was supported by the NSF grant no PHY-0854790, and Carleton College. Our summer students, AS, LN and TOK, gratefully acknowledge the support from INFN in the framework of the Virgo/LIGO undergraduate student exchange, and from NSF-LIGO in the framework of the Caltech SURF program. We thank Larry Stetler from SDSMT for providing the data from the Homestake weather station, Arun Chawla from NOAA for assisting with the ocean-wave data, and Warren Johnson and Martin McHugh for the loan of the STS-2.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023