Seismic observations of meteors: Coupling theory and observations
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Reviews of Geophysics
Volume 46, Issue 4, December 2008
How to Cite
2008), Seismic observations of meteors: Coupling theory and observations, Rev. Geophys., 46, RG4007, doi:10.1029/2007RG000253., , and (
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 JUN 2008
- Manuscript Received: 24 OCT 2007
- acoustic-seismic coupling
 Over the last century, seismic instruments have recorded, with increasing frequency, the ground motion produced by meteorically generated shock waves striking the Earth's surface. In this review, the history of meteor-related seismic signals is discussed, along with documented waveform characteristics, source mechanisms, air-ground coupling phenomena, and kinematic methods of determining meteor trajectories and event locations. Uncertainties in the mechanics of air-ground coupling, however, have left methods of measuring meteor source energy underdeveloped. To date, coupling of acoustic waves directly with the Earth's surface represents the bulk of the observed meteor-related seismic signals, while precursory and impact-related seismic waves remain an observational rarity. With proliferation of infrasound and seismic monitoring systems, new opportunities exist to explore the relationship between Earth's atmosphere and surface. Continued study of meteor seismology will lead to new methods to constrain energies, sizes, and fluxes for moderately (cm to m) sized meteoroids on Earth and potentially on Mars.