Submarine permafrost depth from ambient seismic noise


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Paul.Overduin [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Permafrost inundated since the last glacial maximum is degrading, potentially releasing trapped or stabilized greenhouse gases, but few observations of the depth of ice-bonded permafrost (IBP) below the seafloor exist for most of the arctic continental shelf. We use spectral ratios of the ambient vibration seismic wavefield, together with estimated shear wave velocity from the dispersion curves of surface waves, for estimating the thickness of the sediment overlying the IBP. Peaks in spectral ratios modeled for three-layered 1-D systems correspond with varying thickness of the unfrozen sediment. Seismic receivers were deployed on the seabed around Muostakh Island in the central Laptev Sea, Siberia. We derive depths of the IBP between 3.7 and 20.7 m ± 15%, increasing with distance from the shoreline. Correspondence between expected permafrost distribution, modeled response, and observational data suggests that the method is promising for the determination of the thickness of unfrozen sediment.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
39389
DOI 10.1002/2015GL065409

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Overduin, P. P. , Haberland, C. , Ryberg, T. , Kneier, F. , Jacobi, T. , Grigoriev, M. N. and Ohrnberger, M. (2015): Submarine permafrost depth from ambient seismic noise , Geophysical research Letters, 42 (18), pp. 7581-7588 . doi: 10.1002/2015GL065409


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