Publications

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2018
Hedlin, MAH, De Groot-Hedlin CD, Forbes JM, Drob DP.  2018.  Solar terminator waves in surface pressure observations. Geophysical Research Letters. 45:5213-5219.   10.1029/2018gl078528   AbstractWebsite

We report observations of waveforms in surface pressure made over several years by a network of ground-level barometers in the eastern United States. The waveforms can be reconstructed by superimposing the 4th through 10th subharmonics of the solar day. Some of these solar harmonics are likely generated by the temperature and pressure gradients across the solar terminators. The measurements presented here enable a wave detection analysis which indicates that some waveforms are coherent between stations with a median speed of 49.7 m/s to the southeast. We interpret these propagating signals, which are interference patterns created by internal gravity waves with periods that are subharmonics of a solar day, as a previously undiscovered type of terminator wave. The waveforms appear predominantly postsunrise during winter and postsunset in summer. Their quasi-eastward propagation direction suggests an analogy with "stern" waves left behind by the faster, westward-moving terminator.

2015
De Groot-Hedlin, CD, Hedlin MAH.  2015.  A method for detecting and locating geophysical events using groups of arrays. Geophysical Journal International. 203:960-971.   10.1093/gji/ggv345   AbstractWebsite

We have developed a novel method to detect and locate geophysical events that makes use of any sufficiently dense sensor network. This method is demonstrated using acoustic sensor data collected in 2013 at the USArray Transportable Array (TA). The algorithm applies Delaunay triangulation to divide the sensor network into a mesh of three-element arrays, called triads. Because infrasound waveforms are incoherent between the sensors within each triad, the data are transformed into envelopes, which are cross-correlated to find signals that satisfy a consistency criterion. The propagation azimuth, phase velocity and signal arrival time are computed for each signal. Triads with signals that are consistent with a single source are bundled as an event group. The ensemble of arrival times and azimuths of detected signals within each group are used to locate a common source in space and time. A total of 513 infrasonic stations that were active for part or all of 2013 were divided into over 2000 triads. Low (0.5-2 Hz) and high (2-8 Hz) catalogues of infrasonic events were created for the eastern USA. The low-frequency catalogue includes over 900 events and reveals several highly active source areas on land that correspond with coal mining regions. The high-frequency catalogue includes over 2000 events, with most occurring offshore. Although their cause is not certain, most events are clearly anthropogenic as almost all occur during regular working hours each week. The regions to which the TA is most sensitive vary seasonally, with the direction of reception dependent on the direction of zonal winds. The catalogue has also revealed large acoustic events that may provide useful insight into the nature of long-range infrasound propagation in the atmosphere.

2014
De Groot-Hedlin, CD, Hedlin MAH.  2014.  Infrasound detection of the Chelyabinsk meteor at the USArray. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 402:337-345.   10.1016/j.epsl.2014.01.031   AbstractWebsite

On February 15, 2013 a small asteroid entered Earth's atmosphere near Chelyabinsk, Russia. This extremely rare event was recorded by the 400-station USArray deployed in the continental United States and Alaska. These stations recorded infrasound signals from the event at distances from 6000 to 10 000 km across a sector spanning 55 degrees that encompassed the North Pole. This dense, extensive network permitted a detailed study of long-range infrasound propagation and source characteristics. We observe long wavetrains at all stations (ranging to over 100 min) but clear variations in the character of the wavetrains across the network. Ray-tracing through a spatially and temporally varying atmospheric model indicates the source excited resonance in the thermospheric duct to all stations. Resonance was also excited in a persistent stratospheric duct between the source and stations in Alaska and along the west coast of the United States due to favorable winds at those azimuths, leading to higher group velocities and frequency content at these stations than those to the east. An attenuation formula derived from parabolic equation simulations is used to estimate infrasound transmission losses at all stations, using simplified models of the effective sound speed along each source-receiver path. Observed variations in signal energies from higher than expected at stations in the thermospheric duct in the eastern United States, to lower than expected in Alaska, at azimuths nearly orthogonal to the asteroid's Mach cone, lead us to conclude that (1) the source was dominantly isotropic and (2) the model overestimates attenuation in the thermospheric duct. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

2012
Hedlin, MAH, de Groot-Hedlin C, Drob D.  2012.  A study of infrasound propagation using dense seismic network recordings of surface explosions. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 102:1927-1937.   10.1785/0120110300   Abstract

We use dense seismic network recordings of accurately located surface explosions in northern Utah to shed light on the propagation of infrasound through the stratosphere. The data clearly show propagation of infrasound downwind from the source, as expected. The data also clearly show the penetration of infrasound into geometric shadow zones near the source and the spread of infrasound to a distance of 800 km from the source. The spread of infrasound both toward and away from the source is not predicted by applying either ray theory or the full-wave finite-difference technique to smooth ground-to-space (G2S) models. The mismatch between synthetics and data suggest a missing component in these models, possibly a small-scale gravity-wave structure. Comparison of the network recordings of approximately 1500 infrasound signals with travel-time predictions based on rays shows no significant average bias in the travel times. On average, recorded signals arrived 1 s earlier than predictions. Travel-time residuals are normally distributed about the mean with a standard deviation of 15 s. The small bias of the travel-time predictions indicates that despite the fact that small-scale structure is averaged out of commonly used G2S models, the large-scale structure of the atmosphere is accurately represented. The scatter of travel-time residuals is suggestive of small-scale structure missing from the models that we used to make the predictions, but firm conclusions would require a more in-depth study.

2011
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   10.1029/2011jb008579   AbstractWebsite

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.

2008
De Groot-Hedlin, CD, Hedlin MAH, Walker KT, Drob DP, Zumberge MA.  2008.  Evaluation of infrasound signals from the shuttle Atlantis using a large seismic network. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 124:1442-1451.   10.1121/1.2956475   AbstractWebsite

Inclement weather in Florida forced the space shuttle "Atlantis" to land at Edwards Air Force Base in southern California on June 22, 2007, passing near three infrasound stations and several hundred seismic stations in northern Mexico, southern California, and Nevada. The high signal-to-noise ratio, broad receiver coverage, and Atlantis' positional information allow for the testing of infrasound propagation modeling capabilities through the atmosphere to regional distances. Shadow zones and arrival times are predicted by tracing rays that are launched at right angles to the conical shock front surrounding the shuttle through a standard climatological model as well as a global ground to space model. The predictions and observations compare favorably over much of the study area for both atmospheric specifications. To the east of the shuttle trajectory, there were no detections beyond the primary acoustic carpet. Infrasound energy was detected hundreds of kilometers to the west and northwest (NW) of the shuttle trajectory, consistent with the predictions of ducting due to the westward summer-time stratospheric jet. Both atmospheric models predict alternating regions of high and low ensonifications to the NW. However, infrasound energy was detected tens of kilometers beyond the predicted zones of ensonification, possibly due to uncertainties in stratospheric wind speeds. (C) 2008 Acoustical Society of America.

Arrowsmith, SJ, Hedlin MAH, Stump B, Arrowsmith MD.  2008.  Infrasonic signals from large mining explosions. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 98:768-777.   10.1785/0120060241   AbstractWebsite

We study infrasonic signals from large surface mining explosions in Wyoming. Detections at the Pinedale Infrasound Array (PDIAR) (obtained using a conventional array-processing technique) are automatically associated with ground-truth mining explosions at a range of 368 km. We then focus on four clear signals from mining explosions. By performing a detailed noise study and modeling the propagation of infrasound using a raytracing algorithm and ground-to-space (G2S) atmospheric models, we assess the factors that contribute to the detectability of mining explosions. We find that we can explain most of the observations by propagation and noise effects alone, but that there are at least two notable outliers. Because of high noise levels at the PDIAR array, which places significant constraints on the sizes of mining explosions that can be detected, these results are strongly biased and must be reassessed for lower-noise infrasound arrays.

Garces, M, Fee D, Steffke A, McCormack D, Servranckx R, Bass H, Hetzer C, Hedlin M, Matoza R, Yepes H, Ramon P.  2008.  Capturing the acoustic fingerprint of stratospheric ash injection. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. 89:377-378.   10.1029/2008EO400001   Abstract

More than 100 separate incidents of interactions between aircraft and volcanic ash were documented between 1973 and 2003. Incidents on international flight paths over remote areas have resulted in engine failures and significant damage and expense to commercial airlines. To protect aircraft from volcanic ash, pilots need rapid and reliable notification of ash- generating events. A global infrasound array network, consisting of the International Monitoring System (IMS) and other national networks, has demonstrated a capability for remote detection of Vulcanian to Plinian eruptions that can inject ash into commercial aircraft cruise altitudes (approximately 12 kilometers) near the tropopause. The identification of recurring sound signatures associated with high- altitude ash injection implies that acoustic remote sensing can improve the reliability and reduce the latency of these notifications.

2007
Arrowsmith, SJ, Drob DP, Hedlin MAH, Edwards W.  2007.  A joint seismic and acoustic study of the Washington State bolide: Observations and modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 112   10.1029/2006jd008001   AbstractWebsite

On 3 June 2004, a bolide was observed over British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. In addition to eyewitness accounts, the event was recorded on videotape and at similar to 100 seismometers located in Washington State and southern British Columbia. Seismic records are consistent with a terminal burst rather than the hypersonic shock of the meteors passage through the atmosphere. Arrival times from seismic waveform data are used to obtain an accurate source location for this terminal burst. The source location can effectively be considered to be ground-truth for assessing current atmospheric models and infrasound propagation algorithms. We observe clear infrasonic signals associated with the terminal burst of the fireball at infrasound stations I56US and I57US in Washington State and California, respectively. At I56US we observe at least four distinct acoustic arrivals, for which we are able to model three using a state-of-the-art atmospheric model ( the Ground-to-Space (G2S) model) and both ray-tracing and parabolic equation propagation algorithms. To our knowledge, this is the first study in which a complex sequence of arrival packets at an individual station has been successfully modeled by range-dependent ducting and specular reflection off terrain gradients. At I57US a single coherent acoustic signal was observed, which we are unable to satisfactorily model. This could be due to errors in the specification of the background atmosphere, incorrect assumptions and approximations inherent to the acoustic propagation algorithms, and the greater range of propagation, which amplifies the effect of errors in source location and the atmospheric specifications.

2005
Arrowsmith, SJ, Hedlin MAH.  2005.  Observations of infrasound from surf in southern California. Geophysical Research Letters. 32   10.1029/2005gl022761   AbstractWebsite

We observe 10,000' s of infrasound signals annually, in the frequency range from 1 - 5 Hz, at the I57US infrasound array in Southern California. 75% of these signals arrive at I57US at azimuths between 260 and 320 degrees. There is a good correlation between the amplitudes of signals from 260 - 320 degrees and wave height measurements offshore Southern California, providing firm evidence that the signals from these azimuths are caused by surf action. By modeling the propagation of infrasound for specific time periods ( using 3D ray-tracing and up-to-date atmospheric models), we show that amplitudes of signals recorded at I57US are also dependent upon atmospheric winds. The modeled rays that return in the stratosphere fit observations more closely than modeled rays that return in the troposphere, suggesting the signals are from stratospheric returns. Our findings are the first observations of surf infrasound at a long-range from the source region. This suggests that surf signals might serve as a probe of the atmosphere, much like microbarom signals are used to probe the atmosphere at greater range.

2003
Hedlin, MAH, Alcoverro B, D'Spain G.  2003.  Evaluation of rosette infrasonic noise-reducing spatial filters. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 114:1807-1820.   10.1121/1.1603763   AbstractWebsite

This paper presents results from recent tests of rosette infrasonic noise-reducing spatial filters at the Pinon Flat Observatory in southern California. Data from 18- and 70-m aperture rosette filters and a reference port are used to gauge the reduction in atmospheric wind-generated noise levels provided by the filters and to examine the effect of these spatial filters on spatially coherent acoustic signals in the 0.02- to 10-Hz band. At wind speeds up to 5.5 m/s, the 18-m rosette filter reduces wind noise levels above 0.2 Hz by 15 to 20 dB. Under the same conditions, the 70-m rosette filter provides noise reduction of up to 15 to 20 dB between 0.02 and 0.7 Hz. Standing wave resonance inside the 70-m filter degrades the reception of acoustic signals above 0.7 Hz. The fundamental mode of the resonance, 15 dB above background, is centered at 2.65-Hz and the first odd harmonic is observed at 7.95 Hz in data from the large filter. Analytical simulations accurately reproduce the noise reduction and resonance observed in the 70-m filter at all wind speeds above 1.25 m/s. Resonance theory indicates that internal reflections that give rise to the resonance observed in the passband are occurring at the summing manifolds, and not at the inlets. Rosette filters are designed for acoustic arrivals with infinite phase velocity. The plane-wave response of the 70-m rosette filter has a strong dependence on frequency above 3.5 Hz at grazing angles of less than 15degrees from the horizontal. At grazing angles, complete cancellation of the signal occurs at 5 Hz. Theoretical predictions of the phase and amplitude response of 18- and 70-m rosette filters, that take into account internal resonance and time delays between the inlets, compare favorably with observations derived from a cross-spectral analysis of signals from the explosion of a large bolide. (C) 2003 Acoustical Society of America.

2002
Hedlin, MAH, Berger J, Vernon FL.  2002.  Surveying infrasonic noise on oceanic islands. Pure and Applied Geophysics. 159:1127-1152.   10.1007/s00024-002-8675-1   AbstractWebsite

An essential step in the establishment of an International Monitoring System (IMS) infrasound station is the site survey. The survey seeks a location with relatively low infrasonic noise and the necessary logistical support. This paper reports results from our surveys of two of the oceanic sites in the IMS - the Azores and Cape Verde. Each survey sampled infrasonic noise, wind velocity, air temperature and humidity for similar to3 weeks at 4 sites near the nominal IMS locations. The surveys were conducted on Sao Miguel (the main island in the Azores) and Maio (Cape Verde). Infrasonic noise was measured using the French MB2000 microbarometer. During our 3-week experiment in January the trade winds at Cape Verde varied little from an azimuth of 63degrees. Because of the unvarying wind azimuth, the experiment gave us an opportunity to examine the effectiveness of a forest at reducing both wind speed and infrasonic noise. We find that the thick Acacia forest on Maio reduces wind speeds at a 2 m elevation by more than 50% but does not reduce infrasonic noise at frequencies below 0.25 Hz. This forest serves as a high-frequency filter and clearly does not reduce long-period noise levels which are due to large-scale turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer above the forest. This is consistent with our observations in the Azores where the relationship between infrasonic noise and wind speed is more complex due to frequent changes in wind azimuth. In Cape Verde, wind speed and infrasonic noise are relatively constant. The diurnal variations are clearly seen however the microbarom is only rarely sensed. In the Azores, during our 3-week experiment in November and December of 1998, wind speed and infrasonic noise change rapidly. At this location, daily noise level swings of 40 to 50 dB at 0.1 Hz are not uncommon in the early winter and are due to changes in wind speed and atmospheric turbulence. The effectiveness of an infrasound station in the Azores will be strongly dependent on time during the winter season. The two surveys illustrate some of the difficulties inherent in the selection of sites for 1 to 3 km aperture arrays on oceanic islands. Due to elevated noise levels at these sites, 8 element, 2 kin aperture arrays are strongly preferred.

Hedlin, MAH, Garces M, Bass H, Hayward C, Herrin G, Olson J, Wilson C.  2002.  Listening to the secret sounds of Earth's atmosphere. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. 83:564-565.   10.1029/2002EO000383   Abstract

A new global network is breathing life into a dormant branch of geophysics. The study of infrasound, or long-period acoustic signals in the atmosphere was bustling in the 1950s and 1960s. Prior to 1963, almost all nuclear tests occurred in the atmosphere. After 1963, the USSR and U.S. signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), which eliminated all atmospheric nuclear tests. During the era of atmospheric nuclear testing, infrasound research was in demand, since the massive explosions produced strong, long-period acoustic waves that were globally observed and could be used to locate and describe the nuclear tests. Interest in this branch of geophysics waned with the end of atmospheric testing.