Journal of Seismology

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 657–668 | Cite as

Strain rotation coupling and its implications on the measurement of rotational ground motions

  • Martin van Driel
  • Joachim Wassermann
  • Maria Fernanda Nader
  • Bernhard S. A. Schuberth
  • Heiner Igel
Original Article


Spatial derivatives of the seismic wave field are known to be sensitive to various site effects (e.g., cavity effects, topography, and geological inhomogeneities). In this study, the focus is on strain rotation coupling that can cause significant differences between point measurements compared to array-derived rotational motions. The strain rotation coupling constants are estimated based on finite element simulations for inhomogeneous media as well as for the 3D topography around Wettzell, Germany (the location of the G ring laser). Using collocated array and ring laser data, the coupling constants of the ring laser itself are shown to be small. Several examples are shown to illustrate the order of magnitude that strain-induced rotation might have on the seismograms in the near field of volcanoes as well as in the far field and in the low-frequency spectrum (free oscillations).


Rotational seismology Strain rotation coupling  Strain-induced rotation Site effects 



This study was supported by the QUEST Initial Training Network (Marie Curie Actions, and DFG project Ig16-8. BSAS was supported by a Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement nr. 235861. We thank the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre for access to computing resources. The manuscript benefited from the constructive comments of two anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin van Driel
    • 1
    • 3
  • Joachim Wassermann
    • 1
  • Maria Fernanda Nader
    • 1
  • Bernhard S. A. Schuberth
    • 2
  • Heiner Igel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesLudwig-Maximilians-UniversityMunichGermany
  2. 2.Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (UMR 6526), Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, GéoazurValbonneFrance
  3. 3.Institute of GeophysicsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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