Publications

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2014
Toomey, DR, Allen RM, Barclay AH, Bell SW, Bromirski PD, Carlson RL, Chen XW, Collins JA, Dziak RP, Evers B, Forsyth DW, Gerstoft P, Hooft EEE, Livelybrooks D, Lodewyk JA, Luther DS, McGuire JJ, Schwartz SY, Tolstoy M, Trehu AM, Weirathmueller M, Wilcock WSD.  2014.  The Cascadia Initiative: A sea change in seismological studies of subduction zones. Oceanography. 27:138-150. AbstractWebsite

Increasing public awareness that the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest is capable of great earthquakes (magnitude 9 and greater) motivates the Cascadia Initiative, an ambitious onshore/offshore seismic and geodetic experiment that takes advantage of an amphibious array to study questions ranging from megathrust earthquakes, to volcanic arc structure, to the formation, deformation and hydration of the Juan De Fuca and Gorda Plates. Here, we provide an overview of the Cascadia Initiative, including its primary science objectives, its experimental design and implementation, and a preview of how the resulting data are being used by a diverse and growing scientific community. The Cascadia Initiative also exemplifies how new technology and community-based experiments are opening up frontiers for marine science. The new technology shielded ocean bottom seismometers is allowing more routine investigation of the source zone of megathrust earthquakes, which almost exclusively lies offshore and in shallow water. The Cascadia Initiative offers opportunities and accompanying challenges to a rapidly expanding community of those who use ocean bottom seismic data.

Vose, RS, Applequist S, Bourassa MKA, Pryor SC, Barthelmie RJ, Blanton B, Bromirski PD, Brooks HOE, DeGaetano AT, Dole RM, Easterling DR, Jensen RE, Karl TR, Katz RW, Klink K, Kruk MC, Kunkel KE, MacCracken MC, Peterson TSC, Shein K, Thomas BR, Walsh JE, Wang XLL, Wehner MF, Wuebbles DJ, Young RS.  2014.  Monitoring and understanding changes in extremes: Extratropical storms, winds, and waves. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 95:377-386.   10.1175/bams-d-12-00162.1   AbstractWebsite

This scientific assessment examines changes in three climate extremesextratropical storms, winds, and waveswith an emphasis on U.S. coastal regions during the cold season. There is moderate evidence of an increase in both extratropical storm frequency and intensity during the cold season in the Northern Hemisphere since 1950, with suggestive evidence of geographic shifts resulting in slight upward trends in offshore/coastal regions. There is also suggestive evidence of an increase in extreme winds (at least annually) over parts of the ocean since the early to mid-1980s, but the evidence over the U.S. land surface is inconclusive. Finally, there is moderate evidence of an increase in extreme waves in winter along the Pacific coast since the 1950s, but along other U.S. shorelines any tendencies are of modest magnitude compared with historical variability. The data for extratropical cyclones are considered to be of relatively high quality for trend detection, whereas the data for extreme winds and waves are judged to be of intermediate quality. In terms of physical causes leading to multidecadal changes, the level of understanding for both extratropical storms and extreme winds is considered to be relatively low, while that for extreme waves is judged to be intermediate. Since the ability to measure these changes with some confidence is relatively recent, understanding is expected to improve in the future for a variety of reasons, including increased periods of record and the development of climate reanalysis projects.

2008
Aster, RC, McNamara DE, Bromirski PD.  2008.  Multidecadal climate-induced variability in microseisms. Seismological Research Letters. 79:194-202.   10.1785/gssrl.79.2.194   AbstractWebsite

Microseisms are the most ubiquitous continuous seismic signals on Earth at periods between approximately 5 and 25 s (Peterson 1993; Kedar and Webb 2005). They arise from atmospheric energy converted to (primarily) Rayleigh waves via the intermediary of wind-driven oceanic swell and occupy a period band that is uninfluenced by common anthropogenic and wind-coupled noise processes on land (Wilson et al. 2002; de la Torre et al. 2005). “Primary” microseisms (near 8-s period) are generated in shallow water by breaking waves near the shore and/or the nonlinear interaction of the ocean wave pressure signal with the sloping sea floor (Hasselmann 1963). Secondary microseisms occur at half of the primary period and are especially strongly radiated in source regions where opposing wave components interfere (Longuett-Higgins 1950; Tanimoto 2007), which principally occurs due to the interaction of incident swell and reflected/scattered wave energy from coasts (Bromirski and Duennebier 2002; Bromirski, Duennebier, and Stephen 2005). Coastal regions having a narrow shelf with irregular and rocky coastlines are known to be especially efficient at radiating secondary microseisms (Bromirski, Duennebier, and Stephen 2005; Shulte-Pelkum et al. 2004). The secondary microseism is globally dominant, and its amplitudes proportional to the square of the standing wave height (Longuett-Higgins 1950), which amplifies its sensitivity to large swell events (Astiz and Creager 1994; Webb 2006).

2005
Bromirski, PD, Cayan DR, Flick RE.  2005.  Wave spectral energy variability in the northeast Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 110   10.1029/2004jc002398   AbstractWebsite

The dominant characteristics of wave energy variability in the eastern North Pacific are described from NOAA National Data Buoy Center ( NDBC) buoy data collected from 1981 to 2003. Ten buoys at distributed locations were selected for comparison based on record duration and data continuity. Long- period ( LP) [ T > 12] s, intermediate- period [ 6 <= T <= 12] s, and short- period [ T < 6] s wave spectral energy components are considered separately. Empirical orthogonal function ( EOF) analyses of monthly wave energy anomalies reveal that all three wave energy components exhibit similar patterns of spatial variability. The dominant mode represents coherent heightened ( or diminished) wave energy along the West Coast from Alaska to southern California, as indicated by composites of the 700 hPa height field. The second EOF mode reveals a distinct El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-associated spatial distribution of wave energy, which occurs when the North Pacific storm track is extended unusually far south or has receded to the north. Monthly means and principal components (PCs) of wave energy levels indicate that the 1997 - 1998 El Nino- winter had the highest basin- wide wave energy within this record, substantially higher than the 1982 - 1983 El Nino. An increasing trend in the dominant PC of LP wave energy suggests that storminess has increased in the northeast Pacific since 1980. This trend is emphasized at central eastern North Pacific locations. Patterns of storminess variability are consistent with increasing activity in the central North Pacific as well as the tendency for more extreme waves in the south during El Nino episodes and in the north during La Nina.