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Bromirski, PD, Stephen RA, Gerstoft P.  2013.  Are deep-ocean-generated surface-wave microseisms observed on land? Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 118:3610-3629.   10.1002/jgrb.50268   AbstractWebsite

Recent studies attribute land double-frequency (DF) microseism observations to deep water generation. Here we show that near-coastal generation is generally the dominant source region. This determination is based on observations at land and ocean seismic stations, buoys, gravity-wave hindcasts, and on beamforming results from continental seismic arrays. Interactions between opposing ocean wave components generate a pressure excitation pulse at twice the ocean wave frequency that excites pseudo-Rayleigh (pRg) wave DF microseisms. pRg generated in shallow coastal waters have most of their energy in the solid Earth (“elastic” pRg) and are observed by land-based and seafloor seismometers as DF microseisms. pRg generated in the deep ocean have most of their energy in the ocean (“acoustic” pRg) and are continuously observed on the ocean bottom, but acoustic pRg does not efficiently transition onto continents. High-amplitude DF signals over the [0.2, 0.3] Hz band observed on the deep seafloor are uncorrelated with continental observations and are not clearly detectable at individual continental stations or by land seismic-array beamforming. Below 0.2 Hz, modeling and some observations suggest that some deep water-generated elastic pRg energy can reach continental stations, providing that losses from scattering and transition across the continental-shelf boundary to the shore are not substantial. However, most observations indicate that generally little deep-ocean-generated DF microseism energy reaches continental stations. Effectively, DF land observations are dominated by near-coastal wave activity.

Stephen, RA, Duennebier FK, Harris D, Jolly J, Bolmer ST, Bromirski PD.  2006.  Broadband seismic observations at the Hawaii-2 Observatory, ODP Leg 200. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 200   10.2973/   AbstractWebsite

Among the groups of oceanic microfossils, only Radiolaria occur in abundances and preservation states sufficient to provide biostratigraphic control for restricted intervals within sediments recovered in Hole 1223A. The distribution of these microfossils has been divided into four major intervals, A-D. Radiolaria distribution Interval A occupies the depth range 0-3.0 meters below seafloor (mbsf), where the abundance of specimens is very low and preservation is poor. Radiolaria distribution Interval B occupies the depth range 3.02-7.1 mbsf. Radiolaria in Interval B are locally rare to abundant and well preserved, and assemblages range in age from pure early Eocene to early Eocene admixed with late Neogene taxa. Radiolaria distribution Interval C occupies the depth range 7.1-36.99 mbsf and is characterized by sediments either barren of microfossils or containing extremely rare early Eocene specimens. Radiolaria distribution Interval D occupies the depth range 36.99-38.7 mbsf (base of the recovered sedimentary section), where early Eocene Radiolaria are present in rare to common frequencies, but opal-A to opal-CT recrystallization has degraded the preservation state. The late Neogene assemblage of Radiolaria distribution Interval B is dated at 1.55-2.0 Ma, based on occurrences of Eucyrtidium matuyamai, Lamprocyclas heteroporos, and Theocorythium trachelium trachelium. The early Eocene assemblage of Radiolaria distribution Intervals B and D is somewhat problematically assigned to the Buryella clinata Zone.

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.

Cayan, DR, Bromirski PD, Hayhoe K, Tyree M, Dettinger MD, Flick RE.  2008.  Climate change projections of sea level extremes along the California coast. Climatic Change. 87:S57-S73.   10.1007/s10584-007-9376-7   AbstractWebsite

California's coastal observations and global model projections indicate that California's open coast and estuaries will experience rising sea levels over the next century. During the last several decades, the upward historical trends, quantified from a small set of California tide gages, have been approximately 20 cm/century, quite similar to that estimated for global mean sea level. In the next several decades, warming produced by climate model simulations indicates that sea level rise (SLR) could substantially exceed the rate experienced during modem human development along the California coast and estuaries. A range of future SLR is estimated from a set of climate simulations governed by lower (B1), middle-upper (A2), and higher (A1fi) GHG emission scenarios. Projecting SLR from the ocean warming in GCMs, observational evidence of SLR, and separate calculations using a simple climate model yields a range of potential sea level increases, from 11 to 72 cm, by the 2070-2099 period. The combination of predicted astronomical tides with projected weather forcing, El Nino related variability, and secular SLR, gives a series of hourly sea level projections for 2005-2100. Gradual sea level rise progressively worsens the impacts of high tides, surge and waves resulting from storms, and also freshwater floods from Sierra and coastal mountain catchments. The occurrence of extreme sea levels is pronounced when these factors coincide. The frequency and magnitude of extreme events, relative to current levels, follows a sharply escalating pattern as the magnitude of future sea level rise increases.

Shen, WS, Wiens DA, Anandakrishnan S, Aster RC, Gerstoft P, Bromirski PD, Hansen SE, Dalziel IWD, Heeszel DS, Huerta AD, Nyblade AA, Stephen R, Wilson TJ, Winberry JP.  2018.  The crust and upper mantle structure of central and west Antarctica from bayesian inversion of rayleigh wave and receiver functions. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 123:7824-7849.   10.1029/2017jb015346   AbstractWebsite

We construct a new seismic model for central and West Antarctica by jointly inverting Rayleigh wave phase and group velocities along with P wave receiver functions. Ambient noise tomography exploiting data from more than 200 seismic stations deployed over the past 18years is used to construct Rayleigh wave phase and group velocity dispersion maps. Comparison between the ambient noise phase velocity maps with those constructed using teleseismic earthquakes confirms the accuracy of both results. These maps, together with P receiver function waveforms, are used to construct a new 3-D shear velocity (Vs) model for the crust and uppermost mantle using a Bayesian Monte Carlo algorithm. The new 3-D seismic model shows the dichotomy of the tectonically active West Antarctica (WANT) and the stable and ancient East Antarctica (EANT). In WANT, the model exhibits a slow uppermost mantle along the Transantarctic Mountains (TAMs) front, interpreted as the thermal effect from Cenozoic rifting. Beneath the southern TAMs, the slow uppermost mantle extends horizontally beneath the traditionally recognized EANT, hypothesized to be associated with lithospheric delamination. Thin crust and lithosphere observed along the Amundsen Sea coast and extending into the interior suggest involvement of these areas in Cenozoic rifting. EANT, with its relatively thick and cold crust and lithosphere marked by high Vs, displays a slower Vs anomaly beneath the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in the uppermost mantle, which we hypothesize may be the signature of a compositionally anomalous body, perhaps remnant from a continental collision.

Bromirski, PD, Gerstoft P.  2009.  Dominant source regions of the Earth's "hum'' are coastal. Geophysical Research Letters. 36   10.1029/2009gl038903   AbstractWebsite

Hum beam power observations using the USArray EarthScope transportable array, combined with infragravity wave observations, show that the dominant source area of the Earth's hum over the 120-400 s period band during winter months is the Pacific coast of North America, with the western coast of Europe a secondary source region. Correlation of hum with model ocean wave heights indicates that the Pacific coast of Central America is an important hum source region when impacted by austral storm waves. Hum is excited by relatively local infragravity wave forcing as ocean swell propagates along coasts, with no indication of significant deep-ocean hum generation. Citation: Bromirski, P. D., and P. Gerstoft (2009), Dominant source regions of the Earth's "hum'' are coastal, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L13303, doi: 10.1029/2009GL038903.

Bromirski, PD, Miller AJ, Flick RE, Auad G.  2011.  Dynamical suppression of sea level rise along the Pacific coast of North America: Indications for imminent acceleration. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 116   10.1029/2010jc006759   AbstractWebsite

Long-term changes in global mean sea level (MSL) rise have important practical implications for shoreline and beach erosion, coastal wetlands inundation, storm surge flooding, and coastal development. Altimetry since 1993 indicates that global MSL rise has increased about 50% above the 20th century rise rate, from 2 to 3 mm yr(-1). At the same time, both tide gauge measurements and altimetry indicate virtually no increase along the Pacific coast of North America during the satellite epoch. Here we show that the dynamical steric response of North Pacific eastern boundary ocean circulation to a dramatic change in wind stress curl, tau(xy), which occurred after the mid-1970s regime shift, can account for the suppression of regional sea level rise along this coast since 1980. Alarmingly, mean tau(xy) over the North Pacific recently reached levels not observed since before the mid-1970s regime shift. This change in wind stress patterns may be foreshadowing a Pacific Decadal Oscillation regime shift, causing an associated persistent change in basin-scale tau(xy) that may result in a concomitant resumption of sea level rise along the U.S. West Coast to global or even higher rates.

Bromirski, PD.  2009.  Earth Vibrations. Science. 324:1026-1027.   10.1126/science.1171839   AbstractWebsite
Aster, RC, McNamara DE, Bromirski PD.  2010.  Global trends in extremal microseism intensity. Geophysical Research Letters. 37   10.1029/2010gl043472   AbstractWebsite

Globally ubiquitous seismic background noise peaks near 7 and 14 s period are generated via distinct mechanisms that transfer storm-generated gravity wave energy to the seismic wave field. We utilize continuous digital ground motion data recorded by the Global Seismographic Network and precursor instrumentation to chronicle microseism power extreme events for 1972-2009. Because most land-observed microseism surface-wave energy is generated at or near coasts, microseism metrics are particularly relevant to assessing changes in coastal ocean wave energy. Extreme microseism winter storm season event counts reveal the widespread influence of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Individual station and ensemble slopes trend positive for this study period for Northern Hemisphere stations. The double-frequency microseism is particularly volatile, suggesting that the weaker single-frequency microseism directly generated by ocean swell at coasts is likely a more representative seismic proxy for broad-scale ocean wave energy estimation. Citation: Aster, R. C., D. E. McNamara, and P. D. Bromirski (2010), Global trends in extremal microseism intensity, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L14303, doi: 10.1029/2010GL043472.

White-Gaynor, AL, Nyblade AA, Aster RC, Wiens DA, Bromirski PD, Gerstoft P, Stephen RA, Hansen SE, Wilson T, Dalziel IW, Huerta AD, Winberry JP, Anandakrishnan S.  2019.  Heterogeneous upper mantle structure beneath the Ross Sea Embayment and Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica, revealed by P-wave tomography. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 513:40-50.   10.1016/j.epsl.2019.02.013   AbstractWebsite

We present an upper mantle P-wave velocity model for the Ross Sea Embayment (RSE) region of West Antarctica, constructed by inverting relative P-wave travel-times from 1881 teleseismic earthquakes recorded by two temporary broadband seismograph deployments on the Ross Ice Shelf, as well as by regional ice- and rock-sited seismic stations surrounding the RSE. Faster upper mantle P-wave velocities (similar to +1%) characterize the eastern part of the RSE, indicating that the lithosphere in this part of the RSE may not have been reheated by mid-to-late Cenozoic rifting that affected other parts of the Late Cretaceous West Antarctic Rift System. Slower upper mantle velocities (similar to -1%) characterize the western part of the RSE over a similar to 500 km-wide region, extending from the central RSE to the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM). Within this region, the model shows two areas of even slower velocities (similar to -1.5%) centered beneath Mt. Erebus and Mt. Melbourne along the TAM front. We attribute the broader region of slow velocities mainly to reheating of the lithospheric mantle by Paleogene rifting, while the slower velocities beneath the areas of recent volcanism may reflect a Neogene-present phase of rifting and/or plume activity associated with the formation of the Terror Rift. Beneath the Ford Ranges and King Edward VII Peninsula in western Marie Byrd Land, the P-wave model shows lateral variability in upper mantle velocities of +/- 0.5% over distances of a few hundred km. The heterogeneity in upper mantle velocities imaged beneath the RSE and western Marie Byrd Land, assuming no significant variation in mantle composition, indicates variations in upper mantle temperatures of at least 100 degrees C. These temperature variations could lead to differences in surface heat flow of similar to +/- 10 mW/m(2) and mantle viscosity of 10(2) Pa s regionally across the study area, possibly influencing the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet by affecting basal ice conditions and glacial isostatic adjustment. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Diez, A, Bromirski PD, Gerstoft P, Stephen RA, Anthony RE, Aster RC, Cai C, Nyblade A, Wiens DA.  2016.  Ice shelf structure derived from dispersion curve analysis of ambient seismic noise, Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Geophysical Journal International. 205:785-795.   10.1093/gji/ggw036   AbstractWebsite

An L-configured, three-component short period seismic array was deployed on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica during November 2014. Polarization analysis of ambient noise data from these stations shows linearly polarized waves for frequency bands between 0.2 and 2 Hz. A spectral peak at about 1.6 Hz is interpreted as the resonance frequency of the water column and is used to estimate the water layer thickness below the ice shelf. The frequency band from 4 to 18 Hz is dominated by Rayleigh and Love waves propagating from the north that, based on daily temporal variations, we conclude were generated by field camp activity. Frequency-slowness plots were calculated using beamforming. Resulting Love and Rayleigh wave dispersion curves were inverted for the shear wave velocity profile within the firn and ice to similar to 150 m depth. The derived density profile allows estimation of the pore close-off depth and the firn-air content thickness. Separate inversions of Rayleigh and Love wave dispersion curves give different shear wave velocity profiles within the firn. We attribute this difference to an effective anisotropy due to fine layering. The layered structure of firn, ice, water and the seafloor results in a characteristic dispersion curve below 7 Hz. Forward modelling the observed Rayleigh wave dispersion curves using representative firn, ice, water and sediment structures indicates that Rayleigh waves are observed when wavelengths are long enough to span the distance from the ice shelf surface to the seafloor. The forward modelling shows that analysis of seismic data from an ice shelf provides the possibility of resolving ice shelf thickness, water column thickness and the physical properties of the ice shelf and underlying seafloor using passive-source seismic data.

Bromirski, PD, Kossin JP.  2008.  Increasing hurricane wave power along the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 113   10.1029/2007jc004706   AbstractWebsite

Although no clear trend in tropical cyclone (TC) generated wave height is observed, a TC wave power index (WPI) increases significantly in the Atlantic during the mid-1990s, resulting largely from an increase in the frequency of middle-to-late season TCs. The WPI is related to TC strength, size, duration, and frequency and is highly correlated with the TC power dissipation index (PDI). Differences between the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico WPIs reflect systematic changes in TC genesis regions and subsequent tracks, characterized by their relationship with the regional circulation patterns described by the Atlantic Meridional Mode. The annual wave power at near-coastal locations is closely associated with open ocean WPI. The close association of the WPI to hurricane activity implies that under rising sea level, significant coastal impacts will increase as the PDI increases, regardless of TC landfall frequency.

Chen, Z, Gerstoft P, Bromirski PD.  2016.  Microseism source direction from noise cross-correlation. Geophysical Journal International. 205:810-818.   10.1093/gji/ggw055   AbstractWebsite

Inhomogeneous noise sources surrounding stations produce asymmetric amplitudes in cross-correlation functions that yield preferential source directions. Here we show that preprocessing biases the dominant source direction estimate towards the source producing long-duration signals by down-weighting high-amplitude signals. Tests with both synthetic data and observations show that conventional preprocessing, where only earthquakes and local transients (e.g. trawling, fish impacts) are removed, is more sensitive to coherent energy, while one-bit preprocessing and running-absolute-mean preprocessing are more influenced by signal duration. Comparisons between different preprocessing methods are made on data from the Cascadia Initiative ocean bottom seismometer array, where we find that the total energy arriving from pelagic and coastal areas is similar. Moreover, pelagic-generated signals tend to be weaker but have longer duration, in contrast to coastal-generated signals that tend to be stronger but have shorter duration.

Traer, J, Gerstoft P, Bromirski PD, Shearer PM.  2012.  Microseisms and hum from ocean surface gravity waves. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 117   10.1029/2012jb009550   AbstractWebsite

Ocean waves incident on coasts generate seismic surface waves in three frequency bands via three pathways: direct pressure on the seafloor (primary microseisms, PM), standing waves from interaction of incident and reflected waves (double-frequency microseisms, DF), and swell-transformed infragravity wave interactions (the Earth's seismic hum). Beamforming of USArray seismic data shows that the source azimuths of the generation regions of hum, PM and DF microseisms vary seasonally, consistent with hemispheric storm patterns. The correlation of beam power with wave height over all azimuths is highest in near-coastal waters. Seismic signals generated by waves from Hurricane Irene and from a storm in the Southern Ocean have good spatial and temporal correlation with nearshore wave height and peak period for all three wave-induced seismic signals, suggesting that ocean waves in shallow water commonly excite hum (via infragravity waves), PM, and DF microseisms concurrently.

Bromirski, PD, Duennebier FK, Stephen RA.  2005.  Mid-ocean microseisms. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 6   10.1029/2004gc000768   AbstractWebsite

The Hawaii-2 Observatory (H2O) is an excellent site for studying the source regions and propagation of microseisms since it is located far from shorelines and shallow water. During Leg 200 of the Ocean Drilling Program, the officers of the JOIDES Resolution took wind and wave measurements for comparison with double-frequency (DF) microseism data collected at nearby H2O. The DF microseism band can be divided into short-period and long-period bands, SPDF and LPDF, respectively. Comparison of the ship's weather log with the seismic data in the SPDF band from about 0.20 to 0.45 Hz shows a strong correlation of seismic amplitude with wind speed and direction, implying that the energy reaching the ocean floor is generated locally by ocean gravity waves. Nearshore land seismic stations see similar SPDF spectra, also generated locally by wind seas. At H2O, SPDF microseism amplitudes lag sustained changes in wind speed and direction by several hours, with the lag increasing with wave period. This lag may be associated with the time necessary for the development of opposing seas for DF microseism generation. Correlation of swell height above H2O with the LPDF band from 0.085 to 0.20 Hz is often poor, implying that a significant portion of this energy originates at distant locations. Correlation of the H2O seismic data with NOAA buoy data, with hindcast wave height data from the North Pacific, and with seismic data from mainland and island stations, defines likely source areas of the LPDF signals. Most of the LPDF energy at H2O appears to be generated by high-amplitude storm waves impacting long stretches of coastline nearly simultaneously, and the Hawaiian Islands appear to be a significant source of LPDF energy in the North Pacific when waves arrive from particular directions. The highest levels observed at mid-ocean site H2O occur in the SPDF band when two coincident nearby storm systems develop. Deep water, mid-ocean-generated DF microseisms are not observed at continental sites, indicating high attenuation of these signals. At near-coastal seismic stations, both SPDF and LPDF microseism levels are generally dominated by local generation at nearby shorelines.

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.

Graham, NE, Cayan DR, Bromirski PD, Flick RE.  2013.  Multi-model projections of twenty-first century North Pacific winter wave climate under the IPCC A2 scenario. Climate Dynamics. 40:1335-1360.   10.1007/s00382-012-1435-8   AbstractWebsite

A dynamical wave model implemented over the North Pacific Ocean was forced with winds from three coupled global climate models (CGCMs) run under a medium-to-high scenario for greenhouse gas emissions through the twenty-first century. The results are analyzed with respect to changes in upper quantiles of significant wave height (90th and 99th percentile H-S) during boreal winter. The three CGCMs produce surprisingly similar patterns of change in winter wave climate during the century, with waves becoming 10-15 % smaller over the lower mid-latitudes of the North Pacific, particularly in the central and western ocean. These decreases are closely associated with decreasing windspeeds along the southern flank of the main core of the westerlies. At higher latitudes, 99th percentile wave heights generally increase, though the patterns of change are less uniform than at lower latitudes. The increased wave heights at high latitudes appear to be due a variety of wind-related factors including both increased windspeeds and changes in the structure of the wind field, these varying from model to model. For one of the CGCMs, a commonly used statistical approach for estimating seasonal quantiles of H-S on the basis of seasonal mean sea level pressure (SLP) is used to develop a regression model from 60 years of twentieth century data as a training set, and then applied using twenty-first century SLP data. The statistical model reproduces the general pattern of decreasing twenty-first century wave heights south of similar to 40 N, but underestimates the magnitude of the changes by similar to 50-70 %, reflecting relatively weak coupling between sea level pressure and wave heights in the CGCM data and loss of variability in the statistically projected wave heights.

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).

Moon, JH, Song YT, Bromirski PD, Miller AJ.  2013.  Multidecadal regional sea level shifts in the Pacific over 1958-2008. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 118:7024-7035.   10.1002/2013jc009297   AbstractWebsite

Altimeter data have significantly improved our understanding of regional sea level variability and trends, but their relatively short records do not allow either evaluation of the ocean state prior to 1993 or multidecadal low-frequency signals in the ocean. Here we characterize and quantify the multidecadal regional sea level rise (rSLR) and related ocean heat content in the Pacific from a non-Boussinesq ocean circulation model in comparison with data sets from altimeters, two sea level reconstructions, and in situ ocean profiles from 1958 to 2008. We show that the rSLR trends have undergone two shifts, during the mid-1970s and in the early 1990s, with an east-west dipole pattern in the tropical Pacific. In each of these phases, rSLR accelerated on one side of the Pacific, but decelerated on the other side. The multidecadal sea level shifts can be explained by the dynamical (steric) upper-ocean responses to the surface wind forcing associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), with negligible contributions from internal (depth-integrated) ocean mass changes. Additional model experimentation further confirms that the Pacific wind stress trend over the recent two decades has played an important role in strengthening the rSLR in the western Pacific while suppressing the rSLR in the eastern Pacific. The climate-forced large-scale rSLR variability is likely to impose a long-term and uneven impact on coastal communities.

Bromirski, PD, Duennebier FK.  2002.  The near-coastal microseism spectrum: Spatial and temporal wave climate relationships. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 107   10.1029/2001jb000265   AbstractWebsite

[1] Comparison of the ambient noise data recorded at near-coastal ocean bottom and inland seismic stations at the Oregon coast with both offshore and nearshore buoy data shows that the near-coastal microseism spectrum results primarily from nearshore gravity wave activity. Low double-frequency (DF), microseism energy is observed at near-coastal locations when seas nearby are calm, even when very energetic seas are present at buoys 500 km offshore. At wave periods >8 s, shore reflection is the dominant source of opposing wave components for near-coastal DF microseism generation, with the variation of DF microseism levels poorly correlated with local wind speed. Near-coastal ocean bottom DF levels are consistently similar to20 dB higher than nearby DF levels on land, suggesting that Rayleigh/Stoneley waves with much of the mode energy propagating in the water column dominate the near-coastal ocean bottom microseism spectrum. Monitoring the southward propagation of swell from an extreme storm concentrated at the Oregon coast shows that near-coastal DF microseism levels are dominated by wave activity at the shoreline closest to the seismic station. Microseism attenuation estimates between on-land near-coastal stations and seismic stations similar to150 km inland indicate a zone of higher attenuation along the California coast between San Francisco and the Oregon border.

Chaput, J, Aster RC, McGrath D, Baker M, Anthony RE, Gerstoft P, Bromirski P, Nyblade A, Stephen RA, Wiens DA, Das SB, Stevens LA.  2018.  Near-surface environmentally forced changes in the Ross Ice Shelf observed with ambient seismic noise. Geophysical Research Letters. 45:11187-11196.   10.1029/2018gl079665   AbstractWebsite

Continuous seismic observations across the Ross Ice Shelf reveal ubiquitous ambient resonances at frequencies >5 Hz. These firn-trapped surface wave signals arise through wind and snow bedform interactions coupled with very low velocity structures. Progressive and long-term spectral changes are associated with surface snow redistribution by wind and with a January 2016 regional melt event. Modeling demonstrates high spectral sensitivity to near-surface (top several meters) elastic parameters. We propose that spectral peak changes arise from surface snow redistribution in wind events and to velocity drops reflecting snow lattice weakening near 0 degrees C for the melt event. Percolation-related refrozen layers and layer thinning may also contribute to long-term spectral changes after the melt event. Single-station observations are inverted for elastic structure for multiple stations across the ice shelf. High-frequency ambient noise seismology presents opportunities for continuous assessment of near-surface ice shelf or other firn environments. Plain Language Summary Ice shelves are the floating buttresses of large glaciers that extend over the oceans and play a key role in restraining inland glaciers as they flow to the sea. Deploying sensitive seismographs across Earth's largest ice shelf (the Ross Ice Shelf) for 2 years, we discovered that the shelf nearly continuously sings at frequencies of five or more cycles per second, excited by local and regional winds blowing across its snow dune-like topography. We find that the frequencies and other features of this singing change, both as storms alter the snow dunes and during a (January 2016) warming event that resulted in melting in the ice shelf's near surface. These observations demonstrate that seismological monitoring can be used to continually monitor the near-surface conditions of an ice shelf and other icy bodies to depths of several meters.

Moftakhari, HR, Jay DA, Talke SA, Kukulka T, Bromirski PD.  2013.  A novel approach to flow estimation in tidal rivers. Water Resources Research. 49:4817-4832. AbstractWebsite
Bromirski, PD, Flick RE, Graham N.  1999.  Ocean wave height determined from inland seismometer data: Implications for investigating wave climate changes in the NE Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 104:20753-20766.   10.1029/1999jc900156   AbstractWebsite

Knowing the wave climate along the California coast is vital from the perspectives of climatological change and planning shore protection measures. Buoy data indicate that the wave climate is very similar along much of the California coast. We show that elements of the wave climate can be accurately reconstructed using near-coastal inland broadband seismometer data. Such reconstructions are possible because swell approaching the coast generates pressure fluctuations that are locally transformed into seismic waves at the seafloor that propagate inland and are detectable by land-based seismometers. Buoy and seismometer data show that most of the microseism energy recorded inland near the coast is generated from wave events at nearby coastal locations. A site-specific, empirically derived seismic-to-wave transfer function is demonstrated to be applicable to seismic data from the same location for any year. These results suggest that ocean wave heights estimated from near-coastal broadband seismometer data are sufficiently reliable for monitoring the coastal wave height when buoy data are unavailable, provided that adequate simultaneous nearby buoy measurements are available to calibrate the seismometer data. The methodology presented here provides an important tool that allows the investigation of potential wave climate changes from reconstructions using archived seismic data collected since the 1930s.

Chen, Z, Bromirski PD, Gerstoft P, Stephen RA, Wiens DA, Aster RC, Nyblade AA.  2018.  Ocean-excited plate waves in the Ross and Pine Island Glacier ice shelves. Journal of Glaciology. 64:730-744.   10.1017/jog.2018.66   AbstractWebsite

Ice shelves play an important role in buttressing land ice from reaching the sea, thus restraining the rate of grounded ice loss. Long-period gravity-wave impacts excite vibrations in ice shelves that can expand pre-existing fractures and trigger iceberg calving. To investigate the spatial amplitude variability and propagation characteristics of these vibrations, a 34-station broadband seismic array was deployed on the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) from November 2014 to November 2016. Two types of ice-shelf plate waves were identified with beamforming: flexural-gravity waves and extensional Lamb waves. Below 20 mHz, flexural-gravity waves dominate coherent signals across the array and propagate landward from the ice front at close to shallow-water gravity-wave speeds (similar to 70 m s(-1)). In the 20-100 mHz band, extensional Lamb waves dominate and propagate at phase speeds similar to 3 km s(-1). Flexural-gravity and extensional Lamb waves were also observed by a 5-station broadband seismic array deployed on the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) ice shelf from January 2012 to December 2013, with flexural wave energy, also detected at the PIG in the 20-100 mHz band. Considering the ubiquitous presence of storm activity in the Southern Ocean and the similar observations at both the RIS and the PIG ice shelves, it is likely that most, if not all, West Antarctic ice shelves are subjected to similar gravity-wave excitation.

Zhang, JA, Gerstoft P, Bromirski PD.  2010.  Pelagic and coastal sources of P-wave microseisms: Generation under tropical cyclones. Geophysical Research Letters. 37   10.1029/2010gl044288   AbstractWebsite

Nonlinear wave-wave interactions generate double-frequency (DF) microseisms, which include both surface waves (mainly Rayleigh-type) and compressional (P) waves. Although it is unclear whether DF surface waves generated in deep oceans are observed on land, we show that beamforming of land-based seismic array data allows detection of DF P waves generated by ocean waves from Super Typhoon Ioke in both pelagic and coastal regions. Two distinct spectral bands associated with different P-wave source locations are observed. The short-period DF band (0.16-0.35 Hz) is dominated by P waves generated in the deep ocean by local wind seas under the storm. In contrast, P waves in the long-period DF band (0.1-0.15 Hz) are weaker and generated closer to the coast of Japan from swell interactions. The accurate identification of DF P-wave microseism source areas is useful to monitor ocean wave-wave interactions due to tropical cyclones and to image Earth structure using ambient seismic noise. Citation: Zhang, J., P. Gerstoft, and P. D. Bromirski (2010), Pelagic and coastal sources of P-wave microseisms: Generation under tropical cyclones, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L15301, doi: 10.1029/2010GL044288.