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Identifying large hurricanes through seismology

Date:
February 11, 2011
Source:
Seismological Society of America
Summary:
Storm-generated seismic signals may allow seismologists to detect large hurricanes at sea and track their intensity, adding useful data to the discussion of whether anthropogenic global warming has increased the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms, including ones that don't reach land.

Storm-generated seismic signals may allow seismologists to detect large hurricanes at sea and track their intensity, adding useful data to the discussion of whether anthropogenic global warming has increased the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms, including ones that don't reach land.

Ambient noise, or microseisms, is the pervasive background signal bathing the surface of Earth and is not produced by earthquakes. These surface waves generated by ocean storms are detected even in continental interiors far from source regions.

Researchers at Northwestern University demonstrate that the August 1992 category 5 Hurricane Andrew can be detected using microseisms recorded at the Harvard, Massachusetts seismic station, even while the storm is as far as 1200 miles away at sea. When applied to decades of existing analog seismograms, this methodology could yield a seismically identified hurricane record for comparison to the pre-aircraft and pre-satellite observational record.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Seismological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. W. Ebeling, S. Stein. Seismological Identification and Characterization of a Large Hurricane. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 2011; 101 (1): 399 DOI: 10.1785/0120100175

Cite This Page:

Seismological Society of America. "Identifying large hurricanes through seismology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210184415.htm>.
Seismological Society of America. (2011, February 11). Identifying large hurricanes through seismology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210184415.htm
Seismological Society of America. "Identifying large hurricanes through seismology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110210184415.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

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