Geophysical Research Letters

Emergence of broadband Rayleigh waves from correlations of the ambient seismic noise



[1] We demonstrate that the coherent information about the Earth structure can be extracted from the ambient seismic noise. We compute cross-correlations of vertical component records of several days of seismic noise at different pairs of stations separated by distances from about one hundred to more than two thousand kilometers. Coherent broadband dispersive wavetrains clearly emerge with group velocities similar to those predicted from the global Rayleigh-wave tomographic maps that have been constrained using ballistic surface waves. Those results show that coherent Rayleigh waves can be extracted from the ambient seismic noise and that their dispersion characteristics can be measured in a broad range of periods. This provides a source for new types of surface-wave measurements that can be obtained for numerous paths that could not be sampled with the ballistic waves and, therefore, can significantly improve the resolution of seismic images.