Nonseismic Signals in the Ocean: Indicators of Deep Sea and Seafloor Processes on Ocean-Bottom Seismometer Data

Evangelia Batsi, Eve Tsang-Hin-Sun, Frauke Klingelhoefer, Gaye Bayrakci, Emmy T.Y. Chang, Jing Yi Lin, David Dellong, Clément Monteil, Louis Géli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ocean-bottom seismometers (OBSs) commonly record short-duration events (SDEs) that could be described by all of these characteristics: (i) duration '1 s, (ii) one single-wave train with no identified P nor S wave arrivals, and (iii) a dominant frequency usually between 4 and 30 Hz. In many areas, SDEs have been associated with gas- or fluid-related processes near cold seeps or hydrothermal vents, although fish bumps, instrumental, or current-generated noise have been proposed as possible sources. In order to address some remaining issues, this study presents results from in situ and laboratory experiments combined with observations from two contrasting areas, the Sea of Marmara (Turkey) and the Chilean subduction zone. The in situ experiment was conducted at the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water column Observatory-Molène submarine observatory (near Brest, France) and consisted in continuously monitoring two OBSs with a camera. The images revealed that no fish regularly bumped into the instruments. Laboratory experiments aimed at reproducing SDEs' waveforms by injecting air or water in a tank filled by sand and seawater and monitored with an OBS. Injecting air in the sediments produced waveforms very similar to the observed SDEs, while injecting air in the water column did not, constraining the source of SDEs in the seafloor sediments. Finally, the systematic analysis of two real data sets revealed that it is possible to discriminate gas-related SDEs from biological or sea state-related noise from simple source parameters, such as the temporal mode of occurrence, the back azimuth, and the dominant frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3882-3900
Number of pages19
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Volume20
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Chilean subduction
  • Sea of Marmara
  • gas and fluid migration
  • marine seismology

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