Article

Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 167, Issue 4, pp 437-453

The Temporal Morphology of Infrasound Propagation

  • Douglas P. DrobAffiliated withSpace Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory Email author 
  • , Milton GarcésAffiliated withInfrasound Laboratory, University of Hawaii
  • , Michael HedlinAffiliated withLaboratory for Atmospheric Acoustics, University of California
  • , Nicolas BrachetAffiliated withInternational Data Centre, Provisional Technical Secretariat, CTBTO

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Abstract

Expert knowledge suggests that the performance of automated infrasound event association and source location algorithms could be greatly improved by the ability to continually update station travel-time curves to properly account for the hourly, daily, and seasonal changes of the atmospheric state. With the goal of reducing false alarm rates and improving network detection capability we endeavor to develop, validate, and integrate this capability into infrasound processing operations at the International Data Centre of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Numerous studies have demonstrated that incorporation of hybrid ground-to-space (G2S) enviromental specifications in numerical calculations of infrasound signal travel time and azimuth deviation yields significantly improved results over that of climatological atmospheric specifications, specifically for tropospheric and stratospheric modes. A robust infrastructure currently exists to generate hybrid G2S vector spherical harmonic coefficients, based on existing operational and emperical models on a real-time basis (every 3- to 6-hours) (Drob et al., 2003). Thus the next requirement in this endeavor is to refine numerical procedures to calculate infrasound propagation characteristics for robust automatic infrasound arrival identification and network detection, location, and characterization algorithms. We present results from a new code that integrates the local (range-independent) τp ray equations to provide travel time, range, turning point, and azimuth deviation for any location on the globe given a G2S vector spherical harmonic coefficient set. The code employs an accurate numerical technique capable of handling square-root singularities. We investigate the seasonal variability of propagation characteristics over a five-year time series for two different stations within the International Monitoring System with the aim of understanding the capabilities of current working knowledge of the atmosphere and infrasound propagation models. The statistical behaviors or occurrence frequency of various propagation configurations are discussed. Representative examples of some of these propagation configuration states are also shown.

Keywords

Infrasound atmospheric variability climatology automated event detection source location CTBTO IDC IMS