Study uses seismic noise to track water levels in underground aquifers

Monday, October 29, 2018 - 13:40 in Earth & Climate

Seismic noise — the low-level vibrations caused by everything from subway trains to waves crashing on the beach — is most often something seismologists work to avoid. They factor it out of models and create algorithms aimed at eliminating it so they can identify the signals of earthquakes. But Tim Clements thinks it might be a tool to monitor one of the most precious resources in the world — water. A graduate student working in the lab of Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences Marine Denolle, Clements is the lead author of a recent study that used seismic noise to measure the size and water levels in underground aquifers in California. The technique could even be used to track whether and how aquifers recharge following precipitation, and understand geological changes that might occur as water is pumped out. The study is described in a published paper in Geophysical Research Letters. “The way...

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