Lopez Island Ocean Bottom Seismometer Intercomparison Experiment.
HAWAII INST OF GEOPHYSICS HONOLULU
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The purpose of the Lopez Island Ocean Bottom Seismometer Intercomparison Experiment was to determine the effects of coupling and bottom currents on ocean bottom seismometers. Twelve operational OBSs, three specially designed three-component systems, and a hydrophone were compared with each other. Unlike seismometers placed on hard rock at land stations, ocean bottom seismometers can be affected by soft sediments which act as lossy mechanical springs and by buoyancy. Coupling through soft sediments can modify the response to ground motion much as a low pass filter does, and high buoyancy tends to counteract this effect. These effects are observed in the Lopez data, which consist of signals from mechanical transient tests, cap shots, airgun pulses, and general background noise. The modification of response is pronounced for some instruments and barely noticeable in others. Instruments that stand high in the water relative to their base width tend to be susceptible to rocking motion that shows up as a mechanical cross coupling between horizontal and vertical motion. Correlation of Lopez results with coupling theory suggests that it is possible to design ocean bottom seismometers that will couple well to any sediment. Current levels at the Lopez site 5 cmsec were too small to produce noticeable effects on any of the instruments however, the same design criteria that will minimize coupling problems will also lessen problems caused by ocean currents. Author
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography