Vibrations from the "Perfect Storm"

Bromirski, PD.  2001.  Vibrations from the "Perfect Storm". Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems.

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distribution and correlation, gravity wave, marine geology and geophysics-general, microseisms, noise, ocean, oceanography :, oceanography : general-general or miscellaneous, or miscellaneous, Perfect Storm, physical-surface waves and tides, seismology-general or miscellaneous, wave-wave interactions


Microseismic vibrations during the famous October 1991 "Perfect Storm" were observed at seismic stations across North America. The extreme wave conditions during this storm, in conjunction with the occurrence of Hurricane Grace to the south, are ideal for studying where such vibrations originate and their inland propagation. High-amplitude primary and double-frequency (DF) microseisms were observed at broadband seismic station HRV in eastern Massachusetts. Similar spectral variation observed at seismic station ANMO at Albuquerque, New Mexico, shows transcontinental propagation of vibrations from the Perfect Storm. Cross correlation between wave spectra from widely separated buoy measurements and corresponding DF microseism spectra at HRV give high-correlation coefficients, R-2, from the New England coast to Cape Hatteras. Contours of peak R-2 scaled by the magnitude of the lag at the peak, together with similarities between wave and microseism spectral variation, imply that the dominant source area of DF microseisms during the Perfect Storm is near the southern Massachusetts coast, not in the open ocean where the highest waves occurred.