Project Description:(Click to expand)
The study of seismic waves has provided knowledge about the nature of earthquakes, the propagation of waves through different mediums, and the basic physical structure of Earth. However, acoustic waves, which are studied less frequently, may provide a deeper comprehension of underlying geological processes.
Using infrasound data recorded over the last four years at an array outside of Socorro, New Mexico, I am working to develop a code to accurately determine three-component vectors of incoming sound waves. Using the differences in arrival times between the three stations in the array, I want to calculate celerity vectors of major events (explosions, mine blasts, etc.), then perform a three-dimensional statistical analysis to group different types of events over time and connect them to the locations of known sources in the area. With a successful program to determine celerity, future infrasound studies will be able to more efficiently analyze and further characterize recorded signals.
My project is just a small part of a larger experiment in the Lees lab. The group is partnering with the NASA High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) to send an acoustic array 36 kilometers into the sky using a helium balloon provided by NASA at the end of this summer. This will be the first academic study to record infrasound with a free-flying network, which, if successful, could provide revolutionary information better defining existing infrasound propagation models and possible waveguides in the troposphere. The ground array I'm working on lies directly along the balloon's projected flight path, so my findings will predict the types of signals likely to be recorded during the NASA experiment. Results from this experiment will be applied to future projects to quantify three-dimensional acoustic radiation above volcanoes with the goal of better understanding internal explosive mechanisms.
Communicating Science to a Non-scientist Project (about):
Fall AGU Meeting Presentation: