We analyze seismic noise recorded on the 18 short-period, vertical component seismometers of the Yellowknife Seismic Array (YKA). YKA has an aperture of 23 km and is sited on cratonic lithosphere in an area with low cultural noise. These properties make it ideal for studying natural seismic noise at periods of 1-3 s. We calculated frequency-wave number spectra in this band for over 6,000 time windows that were extracted once per day for 17 years (1991-2007). Slowness analysis reveals a rich variety of seismic phases originating from distinct source regions: Rg waves from the Great Slave Lake; Lg waves from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans; and teleseismic P waves from the north Pacific and equatorial mid-Atlantic regions. The surface wave energy is generated along coastlines, while the body wave energy is generated at least in part in deep-water, pelagic regions. Surface waves tend to dominate at the longer periods and, just as in earthquake seismograms, Lg is the most prominent arrival. Although the periods we study are slightly shorter than the classic double-frequency microseismic band of 4-10 s, the noise at YKA has clear seasonal behavior that is consistent with the ocean wave climate in the Northern Hemisphere. The temporal variation of most of the noise sources can be well fit using just two Fourier components: yearly and biyearly terms that combine to give a fast rise in microseismic power from mid-June through mid-October, followed by a gradual decline. The exception is the Rg energy from the Great Slave Lake, which shows a sharp drop in noise power over a 2-week period in November as the lake freezes. The L g noise from the east has a small but statistically significant positive slope, perhaps implying increased ocean wave activity in the North Atlantic over the last 17 years. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional publication details
Composition and variation of noise recorded at the Yellowknife Seismic Array, 1991-2007