Distributed acoustic sensing: game changing for seismology?

July 6th (Tuesday), 6 p.m., Via Zoom (online) – Open to Public. Presentation: “Distributed acoustic sensing: game changing for seismology?”, Presented by Zack Spica, University of Michigan

How well do we understand the earth’s interior, how well are we even able to gather data to develop that understanding? Dr. Spica will take us on a tour of an exciting new technology which looks likely to greatly enhance our ability to collect critical data about our own planet and the processes that continue to form and modify it.

Our understanding of subsurface processes suffers from a profound observation bias: ground-motion sensors are rare, sparse, clustered on continents, and not available where they are most needed. A new seismic recording technology called distributed acoustic sensing (DAS), can transform existing telecommunication fiber-optic cables into arrays of thousands of sensors, enabling meter-scale recording over tens of kilometers of linear fiber length. DAS works in high-pressure and high-temperature environments, enabling long-term recordings of seismic signals inside reservoirs, fault zones, near active volcanoes, in deep seas, or in highly urbanized areas. In this talk, we will introduce this laser-based technology and present recent
cases of study around the world that prove that fiber optic is a new essential tool for seismologists.