Quantifying the Benefits of Shallow Posthole Installation for the Future French Permanent Broadband Stations
Abstract:In the framework of the RESIF (réseau sismologique et géodésique français) infrastructure, more than one hundred new permanent broadband stations have to be deployed in metropolitan France within the forthcoming years. This requires a standardized installation method able to provide good noise level performance at a reasonable cost, especially for the 60 percent of stations that we expect to be settled in open environments.
During the last two years we tested various types of sensor’s hosting infrastructures with a strong focus on recently released posthole sensors that can be deployed at the bottom of shallow boreholes. Tests were performed at 3 different sites (two GEOSCOPE stations and a dedicated open-field prototype site) with geological conditions spanning from hard rocks to very soft soils. On each site, posthole sensors were deployed at different depths, from the surface to a maximum of 20m deep, and in different types of casing. Moreover, a reference sensor, either installed in a tunnel, a cellar or a seismic vault, has been operated continuously.
We present a comprehensive comparison of the seismic noise level measured in the different hosting infrastructures and for several frequency bands corresponding to various sources of noise. At high and low frequencies, seismic noise level in some boreholes equals or outperforms the one obtained for the reference sensors. Between 0.005 and 0.05Hz, we observe a strong decrease of seismic noise level on the horizontal components in the deepest boreholes compared to near surface installations. This improvement can reach up to 30dB and is mostly due to a reduction in tilt noise induced by wind or local pressure variations. However, the absolute noise level that can be achieved clearly depends on the local geology.
All these tests, together with estimated installation costs, point toward the deployment of sensors in shallow boreholes at the future French broadband stations located in open environments.