Abstract

The West Iberia Lithosphere and Asthenosphere Structure (WILAS) project densely covered Portugal with broadband seismic stations for 2 yrs. Here we provide an overview of the deployment, and we characterize the network ambient noise and its sources. After explaining quality control, which includes the assessment of sensor orientation, we characterize the background noise in the short‐period (SP), microseismic, and long‐period (LP) bands. We observe daily variations of SP noise associated with anthropogenic activity. Temporary and permanent stations present very similar noise levels at all periods, except at horizontal LPs, where temporary stations record higher noise levels. We find that median noise levels are extremely homogeneous across the network in the microseismic band (3–20 s) but vary widely outside this range. The amplitudes of microseismic noise display a strong seasonal variation. The seasonality is dominated by very‐long‐period double‐frequency microseisms (8 s), probably associated with winter storms. Stacks of ambient noise amplitudes show that some microseismic noise peaks are visible across the whole ground‐motion spectrum, from 0.3 to 100 s. Periods of increased microseismic amplitudes generally correlate with ocean conditions offshore of Portugal. Some seismic records display an interesting 12 hr cycle of LP (100‐s) noise, which might be related to atmospheric tides. Finally, we use plots of power spectral density versus time to monitor changes in LP instrumental response. The method allows the identification of the exact times at which LP response changes occur, which is required to improve the understanding of this instrumental artifact and to eventually correct data.

Online Material: Figures and movie illustrating the variation of seismic noise amplitudes with sensor type, time, and soil type.

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