The Ocean-Continent Boundary Effect on Seismic Noise Recorded on Land

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Lucia Gualtieri1, Eleonore Stutzmann1, Yann Capdeville2, Veronique Farra1 and Anne Mangeney1, (1)Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France, (2)Université de Nantes, Nantes, Cedex 3, France
Seismic noise in the period band 3-10s is generated at the surface of the ocean by the interaction of ocean gravity waves. Noise signal is dominated by Rayleigh waves and is recorded worldwide, both on the ocean seafloor and on continent. Microseismic Rayleigh waves, like any other elastic wave, loose energy when traveling from the ocean to the continent. Thus, the noise records on continent are affected by the propagation of microseismic waves, especially across the boundary between the ocean and the continent, the main structural boundary along the source-receiver path. At the ocean-continent boundary, Rayleigh waves dissipate a significant amount of energy (e.g. McGarr, 1969) and noise Love waves may be generated (e.g. Gregersen, 1977).

In order to investigate the effect of the ocean-continent boundary on seismic noise records, we simulate the propagation of the seismic wavefield across the seafloor using the spectral-element method in the secondary microseismic period band (3-10s). A single noise source is located at the surface of the ocean and the signal is recorded at the seafloor, both in deep and shallow ocean regions and on continent. The seismograms computed in a model with continental slope are compared to those computed in a model with flat seafloor, for varying periods and slopes. In the presence of the continental slope, the seismic records are affected by a secondary virtual source, generated by the seafloor topography. The effect of the spatial distribution of noise sources is also investigated.