Detection and characterization of pulses in broadband seismometers

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
By: , and 



Pulsing - caused either by mechanical or electrical glitches, or by microtilt local to a seismometer - can significantly compromise the long‐period noise performance of broadband seismometers. High‐fidelity long‐period recordings are needed for accurate calculation of quantities such as moment tensors, fault‐slip models, and normal‐mode measurements. Such pulses have long been recognized in accelerometers, and methods have been developed to correct these acceleration steps, but considerable work remains to be done in order to detect and correct similar pulses in broadband seismic data. We present a method for detecting and characterizing the pulses using data from a range of broadband sensor types installed in the Global Seismographic Network. The technique relies on accurate instrument response removal and employs a moving‐window approach looking for acceleration baseline shifts. We find that pulses are present at varying levels in all sensor types studied. Pulse‐detection results compared with average daily station noise values are consistent with predicted noise levels of acceleration steps. This indicates that we can calculate maximum pulse amplitude allowed per time window that would be acceptable without compromising long‐period data analysis.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Detection and characterization of pulses in broadband seismometers
Series title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
DOI 10.1785/0120170089
Volume 107
Issue 4
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Seismological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 1173
Last page 1180