An Exploration of Passive Seismology: Applying Seismic Methods for Traditional and Exotic Source Characterization

David L Guenaga, University of Texas at El Paso


As seismology continues to develop both theoretical and observational, so does its ability to be used in various applications. In this dissertation, I develop and apply new approaches to five distinct projects (chapters 2-6), leveraging large and small high-quality targeted datasets to decipher fundamental and applied processes utilizing the full seismic wavefield. The first chapter introduces this dissertation by providing broad context, continuity, and technical information about each of the five projects. Specifically, chapter 2 explores a seismic sensor’s ability to detect opera in Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN, using a misfit power spectral density detector. Chapter 3 outlines work showing 42 of 46 seismic stations (located within 50 m from a U.S. campus) detecting a drop of anthropogenic seismic energy following the COVID-19 statewide school closures. Chapters 2 and 3 reiterate published work and can be found verbatim in their respective journals. Chapter 4 explores dynamic earthquake triggering in the Utah region occurring from 2000-2017, which proves to be limited besides the striking cases of extensive triggering caused by the 2004 Denali Fault, Alaska earthquake. Chapter 5 summarizes the potential dynamic earthquake triggering in Oklahoma from 2010-2016, revealing that dynamic triggering occurs along the regions with gas and oil well activity. Finally, chapter 6 outlines preliminary explorational work on Japanese seismic noise for 2011 using +100 TB worth of seismic data provided by 797 seismic stations from the High Sensitivity Seismograph Network in Japan. Initial results show a limited correlation between ecoregions and power spectral density noise makeup using a k-means analysis.

Subject Area

Geophysics|Geophysical engineering

Recommended Citation

Guenaga, David L, "An Exploration of Passive Seismology: Applying Seismic Methods for Traditional and Exotic Source Characterization" (2021). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28713601.