Extending the formulation of the spatial autocorrelation (SPAC) method to strain, rotation and tilt

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The spatial autocorrelation (SPAC) method has been applied to ambient seismic noise measured by arrays of translational seismometers for inverting phase-velocity dispersion curves of Rayleigh or Love waves for shallow S-wave velocity structure. Recently, it is becoming possible to observe wave spatial gradients such as strain, rotation and tilt owing to the development of dense seismic networks and improving measurement technologies. Therefore, it is desirable to extend the formulation of the SPAC method to strain, rotation and tilt. This study presents analytical expressions of cross-spectra and coherence of the strain, rotation and tilt components that are measured on the free surface. According to the results, both Rayleigh and Love waves contribute to most components of strains. The exceptions are the areal strain and the vertical axial strain (ezz) on the free surface that are affected by only Rayleigh waves. Only Rayleigh waves contribute to the tilts and rotations around the horizontal axes on the free surface, too. On the other hand, only Love waves contribute to the rotation around the vertical axis. Therefore, different kinds of wave spatial gradients are helpful to separate Rayleigh and Love waves correctly. For practical applications, the analytical expression for the radial axial strain (err) component will be applied directly to distributed acoustic sensing data measured with straight sections of a fibre-optic cable. On the other hand, dense observations of rotation and tilt may still be difficult to carry out at present. However, an application of analytical formulations in this study to arrays of at least several three-component rotational seismometers is attractive because it enables us to separately estimate the phase velocities of Rayleigh and Love waves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-302
Number of pages16
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1


  • Rotational seismology
  • Seismic noise
  • Surface waves and free oscillations
  • Theoretical seismology
  • Wave propagation


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