Deep-sea borehole seismological observatories in the western Pacific: temporal variation of seismic noise level and event detection

M. Shinohara, E. Araki, T. Kanazawa, K. Suyehiro, M. Mochizuki, T. Yamada, K. Nakahigashi, Y. Kaiho, Y. Fukao


Seismological networks provide critical data for better understanding the dynamics of the Earth; however, a great limitation on existing networks is the uneven distribution of stations. In order to achieve a more uniform distribution of seismic stations, observatories must be
constructed in marine areas. The best configuration for oceanic seismic observatories is thought to be placement of seismometers in deep boreholes. Two deep-sea borehole seismological observatories (WP-1 and WP-2) were constructed in the western Pacific and form the initial
installations of a 1000 km span network. At present, seismic records of more than 400 total days were retrieved from both the WP-1 and WP-2. Long-term variations in broadband seismic noise spectra (3mHz - 10 Hz) in the western Pacific were revealed from these records, and the data showed that ambient seismic noise levels in borehole observatories are comparable to those of the quietest land seismic stations. In addition, there is little temporal variation of noise levels in
periods greater than 10 seconds. Due to this low seismic noise environment, many teleseismic events with magnitudes greater than 5 were recorded. It is confirmed that seismic observation in deep-sea borehole gives the best environment for earthquake observation in marine areas.


deep-sea borehole observatory;broadband seismometer;seismic noise level;long-term observation

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X