Zhongwen Zhan - CalTech

Jan. 15, 2020, noon - 1 p.m.
Geology 1707

Presented By:
Zhongwen Zhan

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Turning fiber optic cables into the next-generation seismic networks: on land, submarine, glaciers, and beyond

Seismology is one of the main approaches to study quakes and image Earth and planetary interiors. However, deploying large-scale dense seismic networks has been challenging. Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) is an emerging technology that converts every few meters of a long (currently 10’s of km) optical fiber into a seismic strainmeter. At its most basic level, DAS works by shining a laser pulse into the fiber from one end and interrogating the “echo” of Rayleigh scattering from intrinsic fiber defects. DAS provides a scalable and affordable way to deploy a dense seismic network, by installing dedicated fiber cables or leveraging existing telecommunication fiber networks. In the last two years, we have been exploring the potential of DAS in the next generation seismic networks on different scales. More specifically, we test DAS in earthquake detection, structure inversion, and hazard assessment. In this talk I will give an overview of these efforts and our vision for the future.