Near- Source, Seismo-Acoustic Signals Accompanying a NASCAR Race at the Texas Motor Speedway
Thursday, 18 December 2014: 3:10 PM
Near-source, seismo-acoustic observations provide a unique opportunity to characterize urban sources, remotely sense human activities including vehicular traffic and monitor large engineering structures. Energy separately coupled into the solid earth and atmosphere provides constraints on not only the location of these sources but also the physics of the generating process. Conditions and distances at which these observations can be made are dependent upon not only local geological conditions but also atmospheric conditions at the time of the observations. In order to address this range of topics, an empirical, seismo-acoustic study was undertaken in and around the Texas Motor Speedway in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area during the first week of April 2014 at which time a range of activities associated with a series of NASCAR races occurred. Nine, seismic sensors were deployed around the 1.5-mile track for purposes of documenting the direct-coupled seismic energy from the passage of the cars and other vehicles on the track. Six infrasound sensors were deployed on a rooftop in a rectangular array configuration designed to provide high frequency beam forming for acoustic signals. Finally, a five-element infrasound array was deployed outside the track in order to characterize how the signals propagate away from the sources in the near-source region. Signals recovered from within the track were able to track and characterize the motion of a variety of vehicles during the race weekend including individual racecars. Seismic data sampled at 1000 sps documented strong Doppler effects as the cars approached and moved away from individual sensors. There were faint seismic signals that arrived at seismic velocity but local acoustic to seismic coupling as supported by the acoustic observations generated the majority of seismic signals. Actual seismic ground motions were small as demonstrated by the dominance of regional seismic signals from a magnitude 4.0 earthquake that arrived at the local seismometers as the race began. The infrasound arrays recorded a variety of atmosphere only processes including substantial helicopter traffic although the array outside the track did not capture the details of the race as a result of the rapid attenuation of high frequency signals.