skip to main content

Title: A unified wavefield-partitioning approach for distributed acoustic sensing
SUMMARY While distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) has been demonstrated to have great potential in seismology, DAS data often have much higher levels of stochastic and coherent noise (e.g. instrument noise, traffic vibrations) than data collected by traditional seismometers. The linearly, densely spaced nature of DAS arrays presents a suite of opportunities for more innovative processing techniques that can be used to address this issue. One way to take advantage of DAS’s array architecture is through the use of curvelets. Curvelets have a non-uniform scaling property that makes them an excellent tool for representing images with discontinuities along piecewise, twice continuously differentiable curves. This anisotropic scaling property makes curvelets an ideal processing tool for DAS data, for which the measured wavefield can be represented as an image composed of curved features. Here, we use the curvelet frame as a tool for the manipulation of DAS signal and demonstrate how this manipulation can improve our ability to identify important features in DAS data sets. We use the curvelet representation to partition the measured wavefield using DAS data collected near Ridgecrest, CA, following the 2019 Mw7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake. Here, we isolate the earthquake-induced wavefield from coherent and stochastic noise using the curvelet frame in an effort to improve the results of template matching of the Ridgecrest aftershock sequence. We show that our wavefield-partitioning technique facilitates the identification of over 30 per cent more aftershocks and greatly reduces the magnitude of diurnal depressions in the aftershock catalogue due to cultural noise.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Journal International
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1410 to 1418
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Fault zone structures at many scales largely dictate earthquake ruptures and are controlled by the geologic setting and slip history. Characterizations of these structures at diverse scales inform better understandings of earthquake hazards and earthquake phenomenology. However, characterizing fault zones at sub‐kilometer scales has historically been challenging, and these challenges are exacerbated in urban areas, where locating and characterizing faults is critical for hazard assessment. We present a new procedure for characterizing fault zones at sub‐kilometer scales using distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). This technique involves the backprojection of the DAS‐measured scattered wavefield generated by natural earthquakes. This framework provides a measure of the strength of scattering along a DAS array and thus constrains the positions and properties of local scatterers. The high spatial sampling of DAS arrays makes possible the resolution of these scatterers at the scale of tens of meters over distances of kilometers. We test this methodology using a DAS array in Ridgecrest, CA which recorded much of the 2019 Mw7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake aftershock sequence. We show that peaks in scattering along the DAS array are spatially correlated with mapped faults in the region and that the strength of scattering is frequency‐dependent. We present a model of these scatterers as shallow, low‐velocity zones that is consistent with how we may expect faults to perturb the local velocity structure. We show that the fault zone geometry can be constrained by comparing our observations with synthetic tests.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Fault zone complexities contain important information about factors controlling earthquake dynamic rupture. High‐resolution fault zone imaging requires high‐quality data from dense arrays and new seismic imaging techniques that can utilize large portions of recorded waveforms. Recently, the emerging Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technique has enabled near‐surface imaging by utilizing existing telecommunication infrastructure and anthropogenic noise sources. With dense sensors at several meters' spacing, the unaliased wavefield can provide unprecedented details for fault zones. In this work, we use a DAS array converted from a 10‐km underground fiber‐optic cable across Ridgecrest City, California. We report clear acausal and coda signals in ambient noise cross‐correlations caused by surface‐to‐surface wave scattering. We use these scattering‐related waves to locate and characterize potential faults. The mapped fault locations are generally consistent with those in the United States Geological Survey Quaternary Fault database of the United States but are more accurate than the extrapolated ones. We also use waveform modeling to infer that a 35 m wide, 90 m deep fault with 30% velocity reduction can best fit the observed scattered coda waves for one of the identified fault zones. These findings demonstrate the potential of DAS for passive imaging of fine‐scale faults in an urban environment.

    more » « less
  3. Summary

    Data recorded by distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) along an optical fibre sample the spatial and temporal properties of seismic wavefields at high spatial density. Often leading to massive amount of data when collected for seismic monitoring along many kilometre long cables. The spatially coherent signals from weak seismic arrivals within the data are often obscured by incoherent noise. We present a flexible and computationally efficient filtering technique, which makes use of the dense spatial and temporal sampling of the data and that can handle the large amount of data. The presented adaptive frequency–wavenumber filter suppresses the incoherent seismic noise while amplifying the coherent wavefield. We analyse the response of the filter in time and spectral domain, and we demonstrate its performance on a noisy data set that was recorded in a vertical borehole observatory showing active and passive seismic phase arrivals. Lastly, we present a performant open-source software implementation enabling real-time filtering of large DAS data sets.

    more » « less

    The spatio-temporal properties of seismicity give us incisive insight into the stress state evolution and fault structures of the crust. Empirical models based on self-exciting point processes continue to provide an important tool for analysing seismicity, given the epistemic uncertainty associated with physical models. In particular, the epidemic-type aftershock sequence (ETAS) model acts as a reference model for studying seismicity catalogues. The traditional ETAS model uses simple parametric definitions for the background rate of triggering-independent seismicity. This reduces the effectiveness of the basic ETAS model in modelling the temporally complex seismicity patterns seen in seismic swarms that are dominated by aseismic tectonic processes such as fluid injection rather than aftershock triggering. In order to robustly capture time-varying seismicity rates, we introduce a deep Gaussian process (GP) formulation for the background rate as an extension to ETAS. GPs are a robust non-parametric model for function spaces with covariance structure. By conditioning the length-scale structure of a GP with another GP, we have a deep-GP: a probabilistic, hierarchical model that automatically tunes its structure to match data constraints. We show how the deep-GP-ETAS model can be efficiently sampled by making use of a Metropolis-within-Gibbs scheme, taking advantage of the branching process formulation of ETAS and a stochastic partial differential equation (SPDE) approximation for Matérn GPs. We illustrate our method using synthetic examples, and show that the deep-GP-ETAS model successfully captures multiscale temporal behaviour in the background forcing rate of seismicity. We then apply the results to two real-data catalogues: the Ridgecrest, CA 2019 July 5 Mw 7.1 event catalogue, showing that deep-GP-ETAS can successfully characterize a classical aftershock sequence; and the 2016–2019 Cahuilla, CA earthquake swarm, which shows two distinct phases of aseismic forcing concordant with a fluid injection-driven initial sequence, arrest of the fluid along a physical barrier and release following the largest Mw 4.4 event of the sequence.

    more » « less

    Accurate synthetic seismic wavefields can now be computed in 3-D earth models using the spectral element method (SEM), which helps improve resolution in full waveform global tomography. However, computational costs are still a challenge. These costs can be reduced by implementing a source stacking method, in which multiple earthquake sources are simultaneously triggered in only one teleseismic SEM simulation. One drawback of this approach is the perceived loss of resolution at depth, in particular because high-amplitude fundamental mode surface waves dominate the summed waveforms, without the possibility of windowing and weighting as in conventional waveform tomography.

    This can be addressed by redefining the cost-function and computing the cross-correlation wavefield between pairs of stations before each inversion iteration. While the Green’s function between the two stations is not reconstructed as well as in the case of ambient noise tomography, where sources are distributed more uniformly around the globe, this is not a drawback, since the same processing is applied to the 3-D synthetics and to the data, and the source parameters are known to a good approximation. By doing so, we can separate time windows with large energy arrivals corresponding to fundamental mode surface waves. This opens the possibility of designing a weighting scheme to bring out the contribution of overtones and body waves. It also makes it possible to balance the contributions of frequently sampled paths versus rarely sampled ones, as in more conventional tomography.

    Here we present the results of proof of concept testing of such an approach for a synthetic 3-component long period waveform data set (periods longer than 60 s), computed for 273 globally distributed events in a simple toy 3-D radially anisotropic upper mantle model which contains shear wave anomalies at different scales. We compare the results of inversion of 10 000 s long stacked time-series, starting from a 1-D model, using source stacked waveforms and station-pair cross-correlations of these stacked waveforms in the definition of the cost function. We compute the gradient and the Hessian using normal mode perturbation theory, which avoids the problem of cross-talk encountered when forming the gradient using an adjoint approach. We perform inversions with and without realistic noise added and show that the model can be recovered equally well using one or the other cost function.

    The proposed approach is computationally very efficient. While application to more realistic synthetic data sets is beyond the scope of this paper, as well as to real data, since that requires additional steps to account for such issues as missing data, we illustrate how this methodology can help inform first order questions such as model resolution in the presence of noise, and trade-offs between different physical parameters (anisotropy, attenuation, crustal structure, etc.) that would be computationally very costly to address adequately, when using conventional full waveform tomography based on single-event wavefield computations.

    more » « less