Zack SPICA (University of Michigan)



Distributed Acoustic Sensing: a new playground for seismology

Our understanding of subsurface processes suffers from a profound observation bias: ground-motion sensors are rare, sparse, clustered on continents and not available where they are most needed. A new seismic recording technology called distributed acoustic sensing (DAS), can transform existing telecommunication fiber-optic cables into arrays of thousands of sensors, enabling meter-scale recording over tens of kilometers of linear fiber length. DAS works in high-pressure and high-temperature environments, enabling long-term recordings of seismic signals inside reservoirs, fault zones, near active volcanoes, in deep seas or in highly urbanized areas. In this talk, we will introduce this laser-based technology and present recent cases of study around the world that prove that fiber optic is a new essential tool for seismologists.