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Journal Article

Beamforming of Rayleigh and Love Waves in the Course of Atlantic Cyclones


Pelaez Quiñones,  J. D.
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Becker,  Dirk
4.2 Geomechanics and Scientific Drilling, 4.0 Geosystems, Departments, GFZ Publication Database, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum;

Hadziioannou,  C.
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Pelaez Quiñones, J. D., Becker, D., Hadziioannou, C. (2023): Beamforming of Rayleigh and Love Waves in the Course of Atlantic Cyclones. - Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 128, 2, e2022JB025050.

Cite as: https://gfzpublic.gfz-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_5017506
The main sources of the ambient seismic wavefield in the microseismic frequency band (peaking in the ∼0.04–0.5 Hz range) are earth's oceans, namely the wind-driven surface gravity waves (SGW) that couple oscillations into the seafloor and the upper crust underneath. Cyclones (e.g., hurricanes, typhoons) and other atmospheric storms are efficient generators of high ocean waves that in turn generate distinct microseismic signatures. In this study, we perform a polarization (i.e., three-component) beamforming analysis of microseismic (0.05–0.16 Hz) retrograde Rayleigh and Love waves during major Atlantic hurricanes using a virtual array of seismometers in Eastern Canada. Oceanic hindcasts and meteorological data are used for comparison. No continuous generation of microseism along the hurricane track is observed but rather an intermittent signal generation. Both seismic surface wave types show clear cyclone-related microseismic signatures that are consistent with a colocated generation at near-coastal or shallow regions, however the Love wavefield is comparatively less coherent. We identify two different kinds of intermittent signals: (a) azimuthally progressive signals that originate with a nearly constant spatial lag pointing toward the trail of the hurricanes and (b) azimuthally steady signals remaining nearly constant in direction of arrival even days after the hurricane significantly changed its azimuth. This high complexity highlights the need for further studies to unravel the interplay between site-dependent geophysical parameters, SGW forcing at depth and microseismic wavefield radiation and propagation, as well as the potential use of cyclone microseisms as passive natural sources.