Western US Infrasonic Catalog: Illuminating infrasonic hot spots with the USArray

Walker, KT, Shelby R, Hedlin MAH, de Groot-Hedlin C, Vernon F.  2011.  Western US Infrasonic Catalog: Illuminating infrasonic hot spots with the USArray. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 116

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atmosphere, migration, mining explosions, morphology, propagation, signals, sound, waves


In this study reverse time migration is applied to signals recorded by the 2007-08 USArray, presumably due to acoustic-to-seismic coupling, to detect and locate in two-dimensional space and time 901 sources of atmospheric infrasound, defining the Western United States Infrasonic Catalog (WUSIC). The detections are visually inspected and ranked. Uncertainties are estimated using a bootstrap technique. The method correctly locates most rocket motor detonations in Utah and a bolide explosion in Oregon with an average spatial accuracy of 50 km and 25 km, respectively. The origin time statistics for 2007 and 2008 events are nearly identical and suggest a predominant human origin. The event locations illuminate repeating sources of infrasound, or "infrasonic hot spots," in Nevada, Utah, and Idaho that are spatially associated with active military areas. The infrasonic arrivals comprise several branches that are observed to a range between 200 and 1500 km to the east and west of the epicenter in the winter and summer, respectively. The optimum group velocities are Gaussian distributed and centered at 295 m/s. A seasonal variation in optimum group velocities exhibits good correlation with atmospheric temperature. The results show that relatively dense seismic networks fill in the gaps between sparsely located infrasound arrays and provide valuable information for regional infrasonic source location and propagation studies. Specifically, the catalogs presented here can be used to statistically validate and improve propagation models, especially above the middle stratosphere where winds are not directly measured by ground-based weather stations or meteorological satellites.






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