Ocean-Bottom Seismographs Based on Broadband MET Sensors: Architecture and Deployment Case Study in the Arctic

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Jun 9;21(12):3979. doi: 10.3390/s21123979.


The Arctic seas are now of particular interest due to their prospects in terms of hydrocarbon extraction, development of marine transport routes, etc. Thus, various geohazards, including those related to seismicity, require detailed studies, especially by instrumental methods. This paper is devoted to the ocean-bottom seismographs (OBS) based on broadband molecular-electronic transfer (MET) sensors and a deployment case study in the Laptev Sea. The purpose of the study is to introduce the architecture of several modifications of OBS and to demonstrate their applicability in solving different tasks in the framework of seismic hazard assessment for the Arctic seas. To do this, we used the first results of several pilot deployments of the OBS developed by Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS) and IP Ilyinskiy A.D. in the Laptev Sea that took place in 2018-2020. We highlighted various seismological applications of OBS based on broadband MET sensors CME-4311 (60 s) and CME-4111 (120 s), including the analysis of ambient seismic noise, registering the signals of large remote earthquakes and weak local microearthquakes, and the instrumental approach of the site response assessment. The main characteristics of the broadband MET sensors and OBS architectures turned out to be suitable for obtaining high-quality OBS records under the Arctic conditions to solve seismological problems. In addition, the obtained case study results showed the prospects in a broader context, such as the possible influence of the seismotectonic factor on the bottom-up thawing of subsea permafrost and massive methane release, probably from decaying hydrates and deep geological sources. The described OBS will be actively used in further Arctic expeditions.

Keywords: Arctic region; Laptev Sea; ambient seismic noise; local microearthquake; molecular–electronic transfer seismometer; ocean-bottom seismograph; seismic hazard assessment; site response analysis; teleseismic signal.