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  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.

     
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  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.

     
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  3. Abstract

    The cross‐correlation of a diffuse or random wavefield at two points has been demonstrated to recover an empirical estimate of the Green's function under a wide variety of source conditions. Over the past two decades, the practical development of this principle, termed ambient noise interferometry, has revolutionized the fields of seismology and acoustics. Yet, because of the spatial sparsity of conventional water column and seafloor instrumentation, such array‐based processing approaches have not been widely utilized in oceanography. Ocean‐bottom distributed acoustic sensing (OBDAS) repurposes pre‐existing optical fibers laid in seafloor cables as dense arrays of broadband strain sensors, which observe both seismic waves and ocean waves. The thousands of sensors in an OBDAS array make ambient noise interferometry of ocean waves straightforward for the first time. Here, we demonstrate the application of ambient noise interferometry to surface gravity waves observed on an OBDAS array near the Strait of Gibraltar. We focus particularly on a 3‐km segment of the array on the continental shelf, containing 300 channels at 10‐m spacing. By cross‐correlating the raw strain records, we compute empirical ocean surface gravity wave Green's functions for each pair of stations. We first apply beamforming to measure the time‐averaged dispersion relation along the cable. Then, we exploit the non‐reciprocity of waves propagating in a flow to recover the depth‐averaged current velocity as a function of time using a waveform stretching method. The result is a spatially continuous matrix of current velocity measurements with resolution <100 m and <1 hr.

     
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  4. Abstract

    The COVID-19 lockdown has unprecedently affected the dynamics of our society. As traffic flow is a good proxy for societal activity, traffic monitoring becomes a useful tool to assess the lockdown’s impacts. Here we turned two strands of unused telecommunication fibers in Pasadena, California into a seismic array of ~5,000 sensors and detected ground vibrations caused by moving vehicles along the streets above the cable. We monitor the number of vehicles and their mean speed between December 2019 and August 2020 in high spatial and temporal resolution, and then analyze the traffic patterns change due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Our results show a city-wide decline in traffic volume and an increase in speed due to the lockdown, although the level of impact varies substantially by streets. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using telecommunication fiber optic cables in traffic monitoring, which has implications for public health, economy, and transportation safety.

     
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  5. Abstract Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) provides dense arrays ideal for seismic tomography. However, DAS only records average axial strain change along the cable, which can complicate the interpretation of surface-wave observations. With a rectangular DAS array located in the City of Oxnard, California, we compare phase velocity dispersion at the same location illuminated by differently oriented virtual sources. The dispersion curves are consistent for colinear and noncolinear virtual sources, suggesting that surface-wave observations in most of the cross-correlations are dominated by Rayleigh waves. Our measurements confirm that colinear channel pairs provide higher Rayleigh-wave signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). For cross-correlations of noncolinear channel pairs, the travel time of each connecting ray path can still be obtained despite the lower SNR of Rayleigh wave signals. The inverted Rayleigh-wave dispersion map reveals an ancient river channel consistent with the local geologic map. Our results demonstrate the potential of DAS-based 2D surface-wave tomography without special treatment of directional sensitivity in areas where one type of wave is dominating or can be identified. 
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  6. Abstract Geolocalization of distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) array channels represents a crucial step whenever the technology is deployed in the field. Commonly, the geolocalization is performed using point-wise active-source experiments, known as tap tests, conducted in the vicinity of the recording fiber. However, these controlled-source experiments are time consuming and greatly diminish the ability to promptly deploy such systems, especially for large-scale DAS experiments. We present a geolocalization methodology for DAS instrumentation that relies on seismic signals generated by a geotracked vehicle. We demonstrate the efficacy of our workflow by geolocating the channels of two DAS systems recording data on dark fibers stretching approximately 100 km within the Long Valley caldera area in eastern California. Our procedure permits the prompt calibration of DAS channel locations for seismic-related applications such as seismic hazard assessment, urban-noise monitoring, wavespeed inversion, and earthquake engineering. We share the developed set of codes along with a tutorial guiding users through the entire mapping process. 
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  7. SUMMARY Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) networks promise to revolutionize observational seismology by providing cost-effective, highly dense spatial sampling of the seismic wavefield, especially by utilizing pre-deployed telecomm fibre in urban settings for which dense seismic network deployments are difficult to construct. However, each DAS channel is sensitive only to one projection of the horizontal strain tensor and therefore gives an incomplete picture of the horizontal seismic wavefield, limiting our ability to make a holistic analysis of instrument response. This analysis has therefore been largely restricted to pointwise comparisons where a fortuitious coincidence of reference three-component seismometers and colocated DAS cable allows. We evaluate DAS instrument response by comparing DAS measurements from the PoroTomo experiment with strain-rate wavefield reconstructed from the nodal seismic array deployed in the same experiment, allowing us to treat the entire DAS array in a systematic fashion irrespective of cable geometry relative to the location of nodes. We found that, while the phase differences are in general small, the amplitude differences between predicted and observed DAS strain rates average a factor of 2 across the array and correlate with near-surface geology, suggesting that careful assessment of DAS deployments is essential for applications that require reliable assessments of amplitude. We further discuss strategies for empirical gain corrections and optimal placement of point sensor deployments to generate the best combined sensitivity with an already deployed DAS cable, from a wavefield reconstruction perspective. 
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  8. Geotechnical characterization of marine sediments remains an outstanding challenge for offshore energy development, including foundation design and site selection of wind turbines and offshore platforms. We demonstrate that passive distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) surveys offer a new solution for shallow offshore geotechnical investigation where seafloor power or communications cables with fiber-optic links are available. We analyze Scholte waves recorded by DAS on a 42 km power cable in the Belgian offshore area of the southern North Sea. Ambient noise crosscorrelations converge acceptably with just over one hour of data, permitting multimodal Scholte wave dispersion measurement and shear-wave velocity inversion along the cable. We identify anomalous off-axis Scholte wave arrivals in noise crosscorrelations at high frequencies. Using a simple passive source imaging approach, we associate these arrivals with individual wind turbines, which suggests they are generated by structural vibrations. While many technological barriers must be overcome before ocean-bottom DAS can be applied to global seismic monitoring in the deep oceans, high-frequency passive surveys for high-resolution geotechnical characterization and monitoring in coastal regions are easily achievable today. 
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  9. SUMMARY The proliferation of large seismic arrays have opened many new avenues of geophysical research; however, most techniques still fundamentally treat regional and global scale seismic networks as a collection of individual time-series rather than as a single unified data product. Wavefield reconstruction allows us to turn a collection of individual records into a single structured form that treats the seismic wavefield as a coherent 3-D or 4-D entity. We propose a split processing scheme based on a wavelet transform in time and pre-conditioned curvelet-based compressive sensing in space to create a sparse representation of the continuous seismic wavefield with smooth second-order derivatives. Using this representation, we illustrate several applications, including surface wave gradiometry, Helmholtz–Hodge decomposition of the wavefield into irrotational and solenoidal components, and compression and denoising of seismic records. 
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