Bromirski Peter D.

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Peter D.

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  • Article
    Mid-ocean microseisms
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-04-20) Bromirski, Peter D. ; Duennebier, Fred K. ; Stephen, Ralph A.
    The Hawaii-2 Observatory (H2O) is an excellent site for studying the source regions and propagation of microseisms since it is located far from shorelines and shallow water. During Leg 200 of the Ocean Drilling Program, the officers of the JOIDES Resolution took wind and wave measurements for comparison with double-frequency (DF) microseism data collected at nearby H2O. The DF microseism band can be divided into short period and long period bands, SPDF and LPDF, respectively. Comparison of the ship’s weather log with the seismic data in the SPDF band from about 0.20 to 0.45 Hz shows a strong correlation of seismic amplitude with wind speed and direction, implying that the energy reaching the ocean floor is generated locally by ocean gravity waves. Near-shore land seismic stations see similar SPDF spectra, also generated locally by wind seas. At H2O, SPDF microseism amplitudes lag sustained changes in wind speed and direction by several hours, with the lag increasing with wave period. This lag may be associated with the time necessary for the development of opposing seas for DF microseism generation. Correlation of swell height above H2O with the LPDF band from 0.085 to 0.20 Hz is often poor, implying that a significant portion of this energy originates at distant locations. Correlation of the H2O seismic data with NOAA buoy data, with hindcast wave height data from the North Pacific, and with seismic data from mainland and island stations, defines likely source areas of the LPDF signals. Most of the LPDF energy at H2O appears to be generated by high amplitude storm waves impacting long stretches of coastline nearly simultaneously, and the Hawaiian Islands appear to be a significant source of LPDF energy in the North Pacific when waves arrive from particular directions. The highest DF levels observed at mid-ocean site H2O occur in the SPDF band when two coincident nearby storm systems develop. Mid-ocean generated DF microseisms are not observed at interior continental sites, indicating high attenuation of these signals. At near-coastal seismic stations, both SPDF and LPDF microseism levels are generally dominated by local generation at nearby shorelines.
  • Article
    The Cascadia Initiative : a sea change In seismological studies of subduction zones
    (The Oceanography Society, 2014-06) Toomey, Douglas R. ; Allen, Richard M. ; Barclay, Andrew H. ; Bell, Samuel W. ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Carlson, Richard L. ; Chen, Xiaowei ; Collins, John A. ; Dziak, Robert P. ; Evers, Brent ; Forsyth, Donald W. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Hooft, Emilie E. E. ; Livelybrooks, Dean ; Lodewyk, Jessica A. ; Luther, Douglas S. ; McGuire, Jeffrey J. ; Schwartz, Susan Y. ; Tolstoy, Maya ; Trehu, Anne M. ; Weirathmueller, Michelle ; Wilcock, William S. D.
    Increasing public awareness that the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest is capable of great earthquakes (magnitude 9 and greater) motivates the Cascadia Initiative, an ambitious onshore/offshore seismic and geodetic experiment that takes advantage of an amphibious array to study questions ranging from megathrust earthquakes, to volcanic arc structure, to the formation, deformation and hydration of the Juan De Fuca and Gorda Plates. Here, we provide an overview of the Cascadia Initiative, including its primary science objectives, its experimental design and implementation, and a preview of how the resulting data are being used by a diverse and growing scientific community. The Cascadia Initiative also exemplifies how new technology and community-based experiments are opening up frontiers for marine science. The new technology—shielded ocean bottom seismometers—is allowing more routine investigation of the source zone of megathrust earthquakes, which almost exclusively lies offshore and in shallow water. The Cascadia Initiative offers opportunities and accompanying challenges to a rapidly expanding community of those who use ocean bottom seismic data.
  • Article
    Teleseismic earthquake wavefields observed on the ross ice shelf
    (Cambridge University Press, 2020-10-14) Baker, Michael G. ; Aster, Richard C. ; Wiens, Douglas A. ; Nyblade, Andrew A. ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Stephen, Ralph A.
    Observations of teleseismic earthquakes using broadband seismometers on the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) must contend with environmental and structural processes that do not exist for land-sited seismometers. Important considerations are: (1) a broadband, multi-mode ambient wavefield excited by ocean gravity wave interactions with the ice shelf; (2) body wave reverberations produced by seismic impedance contrasts at the ice/water and water/seafloor interfaces and (3) decoupling of the solid Earth horizontal wavefield by the sub-shelf water column. We analyze seasonal and geographic variations in signal-to-noise ratios for teleseismic P-wave (0.5–2.0 s), S-wave (10–15 s) and surface wave (13–25 s) arrivals relative to the RIS noise field. We use ice and water layer reverberations generated by teleseismic P-waves to accurately estimate the sub-station thicknesses of these layers. We present observations consistent with the theoretically predicted transition of the water column from compressible to incompressible mechanics, relevant for vertically incident solid Earth waves with periods longer than 3 s. Finally, we observe symmetric-mode Lamb waves generated by teleseismic S-waves incident on the grounding zones. Despite their complexity, we conclude that teleseismic coda can be utilized for passive imaging of sub-shelf Earth structure, although longer deployments relative to conventional land-sited seismometers will be necessary to acquire adequate data.
  • Article
    Ross ice shelf vibrations
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-09-16) Bromirski, Peter D. ; Diez, Anja ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Stephen, Ralph A. ; Bolmer, S. Thompson ; Wiens, Douglas A. ; Aster, Richard C. ; Nyblade, Andrew A.
    Broadband seismic stations were deployed across the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) in November 2014 to study ocean gravity wave-induced vibrations. Initial data from three stations 100 km from the RIS front and within 10 km of each other show both dispersed infragravity (IG) wave and ocean swell-generated signals resulting from waves that originate in the North Pacific. Spectral levels from 0.001 to 10 Hz have the highest accelerations in the IG band (0.0025–0.03 Hz). Polarization analyses indicate complex frequency-dependent particle motions, with energy in several frequency bands having distinctly different propagation characteristics. The dominant IG band signals exhibit predominantly horizontal propagation from the north. Particle motion analyses indicate retrograde elliptical particle motions in the IG band, consistent with these signals propagating as Rayleigh-Lamb (flexural) waves in the ice shelf/water cavity system that are excited by ocean wave interactions nearer the shelf front.
  • Article
    Tidal and thermal stresses drive seismicity along a major Ross Ice Shelf rift
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-05-23) Olinger, Seth D. ; Lipovsky, Bradley P. ; Wiens, Douglas A. ; Aster, Richard C. ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Chen, Zhao ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Nyblade, Andrew A. ; Stephen, Ralph A.
    Understanding deformation in ice shelves is necessary to evaluate the response of ice shelves to thinning. We study microseismicity associated with ice shelf deformation using nine broadband seismographs deployed near a rift on the Ross Ice Shelf. From December 2014 to November 2016, we detect 5,948 icequakes generated by rift deformation. Locations were determined for 2,515 events using a least squares grid‐search and double‐difference algorithms. Ocean swell, infragravity waves, and a significant tsunami arrival do not affect seismicity. Instead, seismicity correlates with tidal phase on diurnal time scales and inversely correlates with air temperature on multiday and seasonal time scales. Spatial variability in tidal elevation tilts the ice shelf, and seismicity is concentrated while the shelf slopes downward toward the ice front. During especially cold periods, thermal stress and embrittlement enhance fracture along the rift. We propose that thermal stress and tidally driven gravitational stress produce rift seismicity with peak activity in the winter.
  • Article
    Near-surface environmentally forced changes in the Ross Ice Shelf observed with ambient seismic noise
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-10-16) Chaput, Julien ; Aster, Richard C. ; McGrath, Daniel ; Baker, Michael G. ; Anthony, Robert E. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Nyblade, Andrew A. ; Stephen, Ralph A. ; Wiens, Douglas A. ; Das, Sarah B. ; Stevens, Laura A.
    Continuous seismic observations across the Ross Ice Shelf reveal ubiquitous ambient resonances at frequencies >5 Hz. These firn‐trapped surface wave signals arise through wind and snow bedform interactions coupled with very low velocity structures. Progressive and long‐term spectral changes are associated with surface snow redistribution by wind and with a January 2016 regional melt event. Modeling demonstrates high spectral sensitivity to near‐surface (top several meters) elastic parameters. We propose that spectral peak changes arise from surface snow redistribution in wind events and to velocity drops reflecting snow lattice weakening near 0°C for the melt event. Percolation‐related refrozen layers and layer thinning may also contribute to long‐term spectral changes after the melt event. Single‐station observations are inverted for elastic structure for multiple stations across the ice shelf. High‐frequency ambient noise seismology presents opportunities for continuous assessment of near‐surface ice shelf or other firn environments.
  • Article
    Ross ice shelf icequakes associated with ocean gravity wave activity
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-08-01) Chen, Zhao ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Stephen, Ralph A. ; Lee, Won Sang ; Yun, Sukyoung ; Olinger, Seth D. ; Aster, Richard C. ; Wiens, Douglas A. ; Nyblade, Andrew A.
    Gravity waves impacting ice shelves illicit a suite of responses that can affect ice shelf integrity. Broadband seismometers deployed on the Ross Ice Shelf, complemented by a near‐icefront seafloor hydrophone, establish the association of strong icequake activity with ocean gravity wave amplitudes (AG) below 0.04 Hz. The Ross Ice Shelf‐front seismic vertical displacement amplitudes (ASV) are well correlated with AG, allowing estimating the frequency‐dependent transfer function from gravity wave amplitude to icefront vertical displacement amplitude (TGSV(f)). TGSV(f) is 0.6–0.7 at 0.001–0.01 Hz but decreases rapidly at higher frequencies. Seismicity of strong icequakes exhibits spatial and seasonal associations with different gravity wave frequency bands, with the strongest icequakes observed at the icefront primarily during the austral summer when sea ice is minimal and swell impacts are strongest.
  • Presentation
    Microseism noise in the Philippine Sea [poster] 
    ( 2013-12) Stephen, Ralph A. ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Worcester, Peter F.
    Microseism noise, generated by wave-wave interaction of ocean surface gravity waves and peaking between 0.1 and 0.5Hz, is the largest amplitude, continuous (acceleration) vibration on earth in the seismic band from 0.0001 to 10Hz. Although microseisms have been studied extensively over the past seventy years, significant issues remain regarding their excitation and propagation. In a recent paper Bromirski et al (JGR, 2013) point out that there is an important distinction between microseisms generated in deep and shallow water. Most microseisms observed on continents are generated in shallow water near coastlines. Microseisms generated in deep water are observed on seafloor sensors but do not transition readily to continents. The Ocean Bottom Seismometer Augmentation to the Philippine Sea (OBSAPS) Experiment has provided a unique opportunity to study the excitation and propagation of microseism noise (from 0.05 to 1.0Hz) in the oceans by combining ocean bottom seismometer observations with co-located and simultaneous observations of the acoustic field in the ocean. The depth dependence of the acoustic field in the ocean is used to distinguish between ocean acoustic modes and acoustic and elastic pseudo-Rayleigh waves as propagation mechanisms for microseism energy.
  • Article
    Ocean-excited plate waves in the Ross and Pine Island Glacier ice shelves
    (Cambridge University Press, 2018-09-12) Chen, Zhao ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Stephen, Ralph A. ; Wiens, Douglas A. ; Aster, Richard C. ; Nyblade, Andrew A.
    Ice shelves play an important role in buttressing land ice from reaching the sea, thus restraining the rate of grounded ice loss. Long-period gravity-wave impacts excite vibrations in ice shelves that can expand pre-existing fractures and trigger iceberg calving. To investigate the spatial amplitude variability and propagation characteristics of these vibrations, a 34-station broadband seismic array was deployed on the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) from November 2014 to November 2016. Two types of ice-shelf plate waves were identified with beamforming: flexural-gravity waves and extensional Lamb waves. Below 20 mHz, flexural-gravity waves dominate coherent signals across the array and propagate landward from the ice front at close to shallow-water gravity-wave speeds (~70 m s−1). In the 20–100 mHz band, extensional Lamb waves dominate and propagate at phase speeds ~3 km s−1. Flexural-gravity and extensional Lamb waves were also observed by a 5-station broadband seismic array deployed on the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) ice shelf from January 2012 to December 2013, with flexural wave energy, also detected at the PIG in the 20–100 mHz band. Considering the ubiquitous presence of storm activity in the Southern Ocean and the similar observations at both the RIS and the PIG ice shelves, it is likely that most, if not all, West Antarctic ice shelves are subjected to similar gravity-wave excitation.
  • Article
    Seasonal and spatial variations in the ocean-coupled ambient wavefield of the Ross Ice Shelf
    (Cambridge University Press, 2019-09-30) Baker, Michael G. ; Aster, Richard C. ; Anthony, Robert E. ; Chaput, Julien ; Wiens, Douglas A. ; Nyblade, Andrew A. ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Stephen, Ralph A.
    The Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) is host to a broadband, multimode seismic wavefield that is excited in response to atmospheric, oceanic and solid Earth source processes. A 34-station broadband seismographic network installed on the RIS from late 2014 through early 2017 produced continuous vibrational observations of Earth's largest ice shelf at both floating and grounded locations. We characterize temporal and spatial variations in broadband ambient wavefield power, with a focus on period bands associated with primary (10–20 s) and secondary (5–10 s) microseism signals, and an oceanic source process near the ice front (0.4–4.0 s). Horizontal component signals on floating stations overwhelmingly reflect oceanic excitations year-round due to near-complete isolation from solid Earth shear waves. The spectrum at all periods is shown to be strongly modulated by the concentration of sea ice near the ice shelf front. Contiguous and extensive sea ice damps ocean wave coupling sufficiently so that wintertime background levels can approach or surpass those of land-sited stations in Antarctica.
  • Article
    Ice shelf structure derived from dispersion curve analysis of ambient seismic noise, Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica
    (Oxford University Press, 2016-02-16) Diez, Anja ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Stephen, Ralph A. ; Anthony, Robert E. ; Aster, Richard C. ; Cai, Chen ; Nyblade, Andrew A. ; Wiens, Douglas A.
    An L-configured, three-component short period seismic array was deployed on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica during November 2014. Polarization analysis of ambient noise data from these stations shows linearly polarized waves for frequency bands between 0.2 and 2 Hz. A spectral peak at about 1.6 Hz is interpreted as the resonance frequency of the water column and is used to estimate the water layer thickness below the ice shelf. The frequency band from 4 to 18 Hz is dominated by Rayleigh and Love waves propagating from the north that, based on daily temporal variations, we conclude were generated by field camp activity. Frequency–slowness plots were calculated using beamforming. Resulting Love and Rayleigh wave dispersion curves were inverted for the shear wave velocity profile within the firn and ice to ∼150 m depth. The derived density profile allows estimation of the pore close-off depth and the firn–air content thickness. Separate inversions of Rayleigh and Love wave dispersion curves give different shear wave velocity profiles within the firn. We attribute this difference to an effective anisotropy due to fine layering. The layered structure of firn, ice, water and the seafloor results in a characteristic dispersion curve below 7 Hz. Forward modelling the observed Rayleigh wave dispersion curves using representative firn, ice, water and sediment structures indicates that Rayleigh waves are observed when wavelengths are long enough to span the distance from the ice shelf surface to the seafloor. The forward modelling shows that analysis of seismic data from an ice shelf provides the possibility of resolving ice shelf thickness, water column thickness and the physical properties of the ice shelf and underlying seafloor using passive-source seismic data.
  • Article
    Response of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, to ocean gravity-wave forcing
    (International Glaciological Society, 2012-11-01) Bromirski, Peter D. ; Stephen, Ralph A.
    Comparison of the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS, Antarctica) response at near-front seismic station RIS2 with seismometer data collected on tabular iceberg B15A and with land-based seismic stations at Scott Base on Ross Island (SBA) and near Lake Vanda in the Dry Valleys (VNDA) allows identification of RIS-specific signals resulting from gravity-wave forcing that includes meteorologically driven wind waves and swell, infragravity (IG) waves and tsunami waves. The vibration response of the RIS varies with season and with the frequency and amplitude of the gravity-wave forcing. The response of the RIS to IG wave and swell impacts is much greater than that observed at SBA and VNDA. A spectral peak at near-ice-front seismic station RIS2 centered near 0.5 Hz, which persists during April when swell is damped by sea ice, may be a dominant resonance or eigenfrequency of the RIS. High-amplitude swell events excite relatively broadband signals that are likely fracture events (icequakes). Changes in coherence between the vertical and horizontal sensors in the 8-12 Hz band from February to April, combined with the appearance of a spectral peak near 10 Hz in April when sea ice damps swell, suggest that lower (higher) temperatures during austral winter (summer) months affect signal propagation characteristics and hence mechanical properties of the RIS.
  • Article
    Are deep-ocean-generated surface-wave microseisms observed on land?
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-07-25) Bromirski, Peter D. ; Stephen, Ralph A. ; Gerstoft, Peter
    Recent studies attribute land double-frequency (DF) microseism observations to deep water generation. Here we show that near-coastal generation is generally the dominant source region. This determination is based on observations at land and ocean seismic stations, buoys, gravity-wave hindcasts, and on beamforming results from continental seismic arrays. Interactions between opposing ocean wave components generate a pressure excitation pulse at twice the ocean wave frequency that excites pseudo-Rayleigh (pRg) wave DF microseisms. pRg generated in shallow coastal waters have most of their energy in the solid Earth (“elastic” pRg) and are observed by land-based and seafloor seismometers as DF microseisms. pRg generated in the deep ocean have most of their energy in the ocean (“acoustic” pRg) and are continuously observed on the ocean bottom, but acoustic pRg does not efficiently transition onto continents. High-amplitude DF signals over the [0.2, 0.3] Hz band observed on the deep seafloor are uncorrelated with continental observations and are not clearly detectable at individual continental stations or by land seismic-array beamforming. Below 0.2 Hz, modeling and some observations suggest that some deep water-generated elastic pRg energy can reach continental stations, providing that losses from scattering and transition across the continental-shelf boundary to the shore are not substantial. However, most observations indicate that generally little deep-ocean-generated DF microseism energy reaches continental stations. Effectively, DF land observations are dominated by near-coastal wave activity.
  • Article
    The crust and upper mantle structure of central and West Antarctica from Bayesian inversion of Rayleigh Wave and receiver functions
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-09-22) Shen, Weisen ; Wiens, Douglas A. ; Anandakrishnan, Sridhar ; Aster, Richard C. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Hansen, Samantha E. ; Dalziel, Ian W. D. ; Heeszel, David S. ; Huerta, Audrey D. ; Nyblade, Andrew A. ; Stephen, Ralph A. ; Wilson, Terry J. ; Winberry, J. Paul
    We construct a new seismic model for central and West Antarctica by jointly inverting Rayleigh wave phase and group velocities along with P wave receiver functions. Ambient noise tomography exploiting data from more than 200 seismic stations deployed over the past 18 years is used to construct Rayleigh wave phase and group velocity dispersion maps. Comparison between the ambient noise phase velocity maps with those constructed using teleseismic earthquakes confirms the accuracy of both results. These maps, together with P receiver function waveforms, are used to construct a new 3‐D shear velocity (Vs) model for the crust and uppermost mantle using a Bayesian Monte Carlo algorithm. The new 3‐D seismic model shows the dichotomy of the tectonically active West Antarctica (WANT) and the stable and ancient East Antarctica (EANT). In WANT, the model exhibits a slow uppermost mantle along the Transantarctic Mountains (TAMs) front, interpreted as the thermal effect from Cenozoic rifting. Beneath the southern TAMs, the slow uppermost mantle extends horizontally beneath the traditionally recognized EANT, hypothesized to be associated with lithospheric delamination. Thin crust and lithosphere observed along the Amundsen Sea coast and extending into the interior suggest involvement of these areas in Cenozoic rifting. EANT, with its relatively thick and cold crust and lithosphere marked by high Vs, displays a slower Vs anomaly beneath the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in the uppermost mantle, which we hypothesize may be the signature of a compositionally anomalous body, perhaps remnant from a continental collision.
  • Article
    Near-surface seismic anisotropy in Antarctic glacial snow and ice revealed by high-frequency ambient noise
    (Cambridge University Press, 2022-12-19) Chaput, Julien ; Aster, Rick ; Karplus, Marianne ; Nakata, Nori ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Bromirski, Peter D. ; Nyblade, Andrews A. ; Stephen, Ralph A. ; Wiens, Douglas A.
    Ambient seismic recordings taken at broad locations across Ross Ice Shelf and a dense array near West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide, Antarctica, show pervasive temporally variable resonance peaks associated with trapped seismic waves in near-surface firn layers. These resonance peaks feature splitting on the horizontal components, here interpreted as frequency-dependent anisotropy in the firn and underlying ice due to several overlapping mechanisms driven by ice flow. Frequency peak splitting magnitudes and fast/slow axes were systematically estimated at single stations using a novel algorithm and compared with good agreement with active source anisotropy measurements at WAIS Divide determined via active sources recorded on a 1 km circular array. The approach was further applied to the broad Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) array, where anisotropy axes were directly compared with visible surface features and ice shelf flow lines. The near-surface firn, depicted by anisotropy above 30 Hz, was shown to exhibit a novel plastic stretching mechanism of anisotropy, whereby the fast direction in snow aligns with accelerating ice shelf flow.
  • Article
    Tsunami and infragravity waves impacting Antarctic ice shelves
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-07-20) Bromirski, Peter D. ; Chen, Zhao ; Stephen, Ralph A. ; Gerstoft, Peter ; Arcas, Diego R. ; Diez, Anja ; Aster, Richard C. ; Wiens, Douglas A. ; Nyblade, Andrew A.
    The responses of the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS) to the 16 September 2015 8.3 (Mw) Chilean earthquake tsunami (>75 s period) and to oceanic infragravity (IG) waves (50–300 s period) were recorded by a broadband seismic array deployed on the RIS from November 2014 to November 2016. Here we show that tsunami and IG-generated signals within the RIS propagate at gravity wave speeds (∼70 m/s) as water-ice coupled flexural-gravity waves. IG band signals show measureable attenuation away from the shelf front. The response of the RIS to Chilean tsunami arrivals is compared with modeled tsunami forcing to assess ice shelf flexural-gravity wave excitation by very long period (VLP; >300 s) gravity waves. Displacements across the RIS are affected by gravity wave incident direction, bathymetry under and north of the shelf, and water layer and ice shelf thicknesses. Horizontal displacements are typically about 10 times larger than vertical displacements, producing dynamical extensional motions that may facilitate expansion of existing fractures. VLP excitation is continuously observed throughout the year, with horizontal displacements highest during the austral winter with amplitudes exceeding 20 cm. Because VLP flexural-gravity waves exhibit no discernable attenuation, this energy must propagate to the grounding zone. Both IG and VLP band flexural-gravity waves excite mechanical perturbations of the RIS that likely promote tabular iceberg calving, consequently affecting ice shelf evolution. Understanding these ocean-excited mechanical interactions is important to determine their effect on ice shelf stability to reduce uncertainty in the magnitude and rate of global sea level rise.