Observations of Seismic and Acoustic Signals Produced by Calving, Bering Glacier, Alaska

Observations of Seismic and Acoustic Signals Produced by Calving, Bering Glacier, Alaska An example of the resulting solution produced by the intersection of three 99.7% confidence wedges at each array. [Richardson et al., 2010]
Using short-period seismometers and small-aperture arrays of infrasound sensors, we recorded 126 calving and iceberg breakup events from the terminus of the Bering Glacier during five days in August 2008. The seismic signals were typically emergent, narrow-band, and lower-frequency (1-5 Hz), similar to seismic records from other glaciers, observed on a local scale [e.g. Qamar, 1988; O'Neel et al., 2007]. The acoustic records were characterized by shorter-duration, higher-frequency signals with more impulsive onsets. We demonstrate that triangular infrasound arrays permit improved locations of calving events over seismic arrivals that rely on a relatively complicated, poorly known, velocity model. We also discovered that a large percentage of events located away from the active calving face of the glacier and within Vitus Lake. The use of infrasound sensors proved extremely important in the differentiation of different parts of the source mechanism with one part propagating waves through the air and another propagating waves through the ground. Understanding the processes relating to ice-edge loss has serious implications in a changing climate, as fresh-water discharge has a significant impact on coastal currents within the Gulf of Alaska. [Richardson et al., 2010]
</p><p>O'Neel, S., and W. T. Pfeffer (2007), Source mechanics for monochromatic icequakes produced during iceberg calving at Columbia Glacier, AK, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L22502.
</p><p>Qamar, A. (1988), Calving icebergs: A source of low-frequency seismic signals from Columbia Glacier, Alaska, J. Geophys. Res., 93, 6615–6623.
</p><p>Richardson, J. P., G. P. Waite, K. A. FitzGerald, and W. D. Pennington (2010), Characteristics of seismic and acoustic signals produced by calving, Bering Glacier, Alaska, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L03503.
</p><p>Acknowledgements: The seismic instruments were provided by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) through the PASSCAL Instrument Center at New Mexico Tech. Data collected will be available through the IRIS Data Management Center. The facilities of the IRIS Consortium are supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement EAR-0552316, the NSF Office of Polar Programs, and the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration. We would also like to thank the Michigan Tech Remote Sensing Institute, the Michigan Tech Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Michigan Tech Fund for their financial support.</p>


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