Daily correlations of ambient seismic noise on a large landslide at Utiku, New Zealand, reveal seismic velocity changes up to ±1.5% that follow a summer/winter cycle consistent with the pore-water pressures monitored at the basal slip surface in the landslide. The annual pattern of velocity changes is borne by a limited frequency band (6–8 Hz typically) that suggests a localized change in the medium. The Rayleigh waves that form the seismic signal within this frequency band have a maximum sensitivity at a depth of 2–3 m below the ground surface, consistent with the water table level. Fluid saturation changes in the landslide modeled using the Biot-Gassmann theory explain the limited frequency band and the amplitude of the seismic velocity change. This set of arguments suggests that seismic noise correlations are sensitive to water table oscillations through saturation changes and could be used as a nondestructive hydrologic monitoring tool.

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