Persistent noise signal in the FairfieldNodal three-component 5-Hz geophones

Jamie Farrell, Sin Mei Wu, Kevin M. Ward, Fan Chi Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Data from deployments of the FairfieldNodal three-component nodes were used to analyze a persistently observed noise signal. The noise signal is most prominent in the 20- to 40-Hz range but has been observed anywhere in the 10- to 100-Hz range. Interestingly, the signal is affected by air temperature and moves to higher frequencies in colder temperatures. Nodes that were deployed in seismic vaults directly on flat concrete slabs do not show the noise signal, and nodes that were buried in the ground or covered in snow show a significant decrease in the noise signal. This suggests that whatever is causing this signal may be mitigated by better coupling to the ground. Spectral analysis of hydrothermal tremor in the Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone, suggests this noise signal can interfere with the true ground vibration and can impede the ability to accurately characterize these signals. It is our recommendation to always bury the nodes if it is possible to reduce this noise signal that can interfere with natural signals of interest in a similar frequency band. In addition, tests to better estimate the best gain setting were done, and results show that above 12 dB, the waveforms of teleseismic events on the three-component nodes are very similar, suggesting that there is no advantage to using a gain setting higher than 18 dB for recording teleseismic events. If background noise is of interest in addition to teleseismic events, we see no adverse effects on the waveforms of teleseismic events using the max gain setting of 36 dB.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1609-1617
Number of pages9
JournalSeismological Research Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-09
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OCRF-2014-CRG3-2300
Acknowledgements: Support was from the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant Number Cy-berSEES-1442665, and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) under Award OCRF-2014-CRG3-2300. The authors thank Andy Trow and David Drobeck for deploying nodal seismometers in the NLU experiment. Some nodes used in the Salt Lake City experiment were generously loaned to us by Amanda Thomas of the University of Oregon. Some nodes used in the 2015 Old Faithful experiment were generously loaned to us by Marianne Karplus of the University of Texas at El Paso and FairfieldNodal. The authors would also like to thank the Yellowstone National Park Center for Resources for providing the permit to work in Yellowstone and for providing personnel to help in the field. Figures were made using the public domain Generic Mapping Tool (GMT) software package (Wessel and Smith, 1991). The authors would like to thank Amanda Thomas and one anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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