Shear-wave velocity of slope sediments near Hudson Canyon from analysis of ambient noise

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 11:50 AM
Nathaniel C Miller1,2, Uri S Ten Brink1, John A Collins3, Jeffrey Joseph McGuire4 and Claudia H Flores1, (1)US Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA, United States, (2)Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States, (3)WHOI, Woods Hole, MA, United States, (4)Woods Hole Oceanographic Ins, Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole, MA, United States
We present new ambient noise data that help constrain the shear strength of marine sediments on the continental slope north of Hudson Canyon on the U.S. Atlantic margin. Sediment shear strength is a key parameter in models of potentially tsunamigenic, submarine slope failures, but shear strength is difficult to measure in situ and is expected to evolve in time with changes in pore pressure. The ambient noise data were recorded by 11 short-period, ocean-bottom seismometers and hydrophones deployed in a ~1 by 1.5 km array for ~6 months on the continental slope. These high frequency (~0.1 – 50 Hz), narrow-aperture data are expected to record noise propagating as interface waves and/or resonating in the upper ~500 m of sediment. Propagation of interface waves is controlled by the shear-wave velocity of the sediment, which we measure by calculating lag-times in cross-correlations of waveforms recorded by pairs of receivers. These measurements of shear-wave velocity will be used to constrain shear strength. The data also appear to record wind-generated noise resonating in layered sediment. We expect this resonance to also be sensitive to shear-wave velocity, and spectral analysis and modeling of harmonics may provide a second constraint on sediment shear strength. Both the correlogram- and spectral-based measurements can be made using hour- to day-long segments of data, enabling us to constrain temporal evolution of shear-wave velocity and potential forcing mechanisms (e.g., tidal and storm loading and submarine groundwater discharge) through the ~6 month deployment.