Weather-related Ground Motions Recorded by Taiwan Broadband Seismic Network Stations

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Chu-Fang Yang and Wu-Cheng Chi, Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
Broadband seismometers record ground motions, which can be induced by weather-related processes. Analyzing such signals might help to better understand those natural processes. Previously, abnormal seismic signals have been detected during rainfall and snowmelt events. The amplitudes of those seismic signals correlated with the variations of the discharge in a nearby river and scientists have proposed that such signals were generated by bed load transport. Here, we used the continuous seismic data from the Broadband Array in Taiwan for Seismology (BATS) to analyze the weather-related ground motions during rainfall events. The sampling rate for seismic data is 100 samples per second. We compared the seismic data with the precipitation data from the rain gauge stations in Taiwan in three select rainfall periods, Typhoon Kalmaegi in 2008, Typhoon Morakot in 2009 and the East Asian rainy season in 2012. During raining, the Power Spectral Density (PSD) of high frequency (> 1 Hz) seismic noises is apparently high, and the amplitude of the seismic noise also correlates with the local precipitation, especially at the stations in the drainage basins, and the PSD decreased gradually after peaks of precipitation. At some seismic stations, we observed vertical ground motions at several bands of frequencies: 0-1 Hz, 1-5 Hz, and 5-45 Hz. However, on horizontal components we found the 5-45 Hz energy splits into two bands: 5-25 Hz and 30-45 Hz. For stations near the ridge tops or on the coastal plain, the 30-45 Hz band energy is weaker or missing. Preliminary results show that the amplitudes of the seismic waves correlate with the stream flow discharge. Next, we plan to study the sources of the different bands of energy to examine if we can monitor and quantify natural processes, like precipitation and river discharge, using seismic signals.