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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Mar 2019

Research article | 06 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Passive processing of active nodal seismic data: Estimation of VP / VS-ratios to characterize structure and hydrology of an alpine valley infill

Michael Behm1, Feng Cheng2, Anna Patterson1, and Gerilyn Soreghan1 Michael Behm et al.
  • 1School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
  • 2Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA

Abstract. The advent of cable-free nodal arrays for conventional seismic reflection and refraction experiments is changing the acquisition style for active source surveys. Instead of triggering short recording windows for each shot, the nodes are continuously recording over the entire acquisition period from the first to the last shot. The main benefit is a significant increase in geometrical and logistical flexibility. As a by-product, a significant amount of continuous data might also be collected. These data can be analysed with passive seismic methods and therefore offer the possibility to complement subsurface characterization at marginal additional cost. We present data and results from a 2.4 km long active source profile which has been recently acquired in Western Colorado (US) to characterize the structure and sedimentary infill of an over-deepened alpine valley. We show how the leftover passive data from the active source acquisition can be processed towards a shear wave velocity model with seismic interferometry. The shear wave velocity model supports the structural interpretation of the active P-wave data, and the P-to-S-wave velocity ratio provides new insights into the nature and hydrological properties of the sedimentary infill. We discuss the benefits and limitations of our workflow and conclude with recommendations for acquisition and processing of similar data sets.

Michael Behm et al.
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Michael Behm et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
It is in the subsurface where we we find many of our valuable and much needed resources (fossil and geothermal energy, rare earth minerals, water). Therefore, imaging and modelling of the subsurface is of paramount importance. We demonstrate a new and cost-effective approach for generating improved images of the subsurface, and show how the results can help us to map potential groundwater resources in large depths.
It is in the subsurface where we we find many of our valuable and much needed resources (fossil...