Abstract

Observations of ocean bottom low-frequency noise and surface environmental data over a period of 27 days in the northern Atlantic during the SAMSON and SWADE experiments reveal how closely related the noise is to meteorological conditions. Double-frequency microseisms produced by nonlinear interactions of storm-induced surface gravity waves are especially evident in the frequency band 0.16 to 0.3 Hz and show a high variability in both amplitude and peak frequencies. Bifurcated at times, the peak that characterizes the microseism band contains local and distant or “teleseismic” components, which are generated at different locations. Weather and storm fetch appear to be the major contributions to the size and shape of microseism spectra. Storm development on the sea surface is associated with progressively lower microseism frequencies along with a concurrent increase in amplitude. The single-frequency microseism peak is a continuous feature and is observed to portray the same time-dependent spectral characteristics as the portion of the double-frequency peak associated with distant storms. Coherence studies confirm that both peaks (single and teleseismic double) originate at a distant source. These peaks are generated at roughly the same location with some storm component over the coastline.

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