Passive Seismology

By recording and interpreting natural seismic wave fields, seismologists gain information on the structure of the Earth’s interior and on active tectonic processes that accompany the formation and motion of lithospheric plates. Earthquakes are recorded not only by permanent seismological observatories but also by mobile seismic stations and ocean bottom seismometers that are deployed in small networks in the study area. In polar areas, the installation of local seismic networks represents a major challenge. Power supply at low temperatures and in darkness, the sea ice cover of polar oceans and strong wind and waves in the subpolar oceans prevent the use of standard seismological recording methods. AWI’s geophysics group has developed special solutions and built up significant expertise in polar seismology over the years.