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Schmelzbach, Cedric; Donner, Stefanie; Igel, Heiner; Sollberger, David; Taufiqurrahman, Taufiq; Bernauer, Felix; Haeusler, Mauro; Renterghem, Cederic van; Wassermann, Joachim; Robertsson, Johan (2018): Advances in 6C seismology: Applications of combined translational and rotational motion measurements in global and exploration seismology. In: Geophysics, Vol. 83, No. 3: WC53-WC69
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Over the past few decades, the potential of collocated measurements of 6C data (3C of translational and 3C of rotational motion) has been demonstrated in global seismology using high-sensitivity, observatory-based ring laser technology. Proposed applications of 6C seismology range from tomographic reconstruction of near-receiver structure to the reduction of nonuniqueness in seismic source inverse problems. Applications to exploration problems have so far been hampered by the lack of appropriate sensors, but several applications have been proposed and demonstrated with array-derived rotational motion estimates. With the recent availability of, for example, fiber-optic-based high-sensitivity rotational motion sensors, widespread applications of 6C techniques to exploration problems are in sight. Potential applications are based on, for example, the fact that the extended set of combined translational and rotational motion observations enables carrying out array-type processing with single-station recordings such as wavefield separation and surface-wave suppression. Furthermore, measuring the rotational component (curl) of the seismic wavefield enables direct isolation of the S-wave constituents and could significantly improve S-wave exploration. Rotational measurements provide estimates of the spatial wavefield gradient at the free surface that allow carrying out analyses such as local slowness estimation and wavefield reconstruction. Furthermore, rotational motion measurements can help to resolve wavefield infidelity introduced by seismic instruments that are not well-coupled to the ground.