Array processing in cryoseismology: a comparison to network-based approaches at an Antarctic ice stream

Seismicity at glaciers, ice sheets, and ice shelves provides observational constraint on a number of glaciological processes. Detecting and locating this seismicity, specifically icequakes, is a necessary first step in studying processes such as basal slip, crevassing, imaging ice fabric, and iceberg calving, for example. Most glacier deployments to date use conventional seismic networks, comprised of seismometers distributed over the entire area of interest. However, smaller-aperture seismic arrays can also be used, which are typically sensitive to seismicity distal from the array footprint and require a smaller number of instruments. Here, we investigate the potential of arrays and array-processing methods to detect and locate subsurface microseismicity at glaciers, benchmarking performance against conventional seismic-network-based methods for an example at an Antarctic ice stream. We also provide an array-processing recipe for body-wave cryoseismology applications. Results from an array and a network deployed at Rutford Ice Stream, Antarctica, show that arrays and networks both have strengths and weaknesses. Arrays can detect icequakes from further distances, whereas networks outperform arrays in more comprehensive studies of a particular process due to greater hypocentral constraint within the network extent. We also gain new insights into seismic behaviour at the Rutford Ice Stream. The array detects basal icequakes in what was previously interpreted to be an aseismic region of the bed, as well as new icequake observations downstream and at the ice stream shear margins, where it would be challenging to deploy instruments. Finally, we make some practical recommendations for future array deployments at glaciers.


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Authors: Hudson, Thomas Samuel, Brisbourne, Alex M. ORCIDORCID record for Alex M. Brisbourne, Kufner, Sofia-Katerina, Kendall, J.-Michael, Smith, Andy M. ORCIDORCID record for Andy M. Smith

On this site: Alex Brisbourne, Andy Smith
27 November, 2023
The Cryosphere / 17
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