Linear scattering of ocean wave energy at the ocean–continent transition structure causes the primary microseism at a period of 14 s. Subsequent nonlinear wave–wave interactions produce the secondary microseism signal at half the primary microseism period (Longuet‐Higgins, 1950; Haubrich et al., 1963). We use three years (2018–2022) of seismic data from an ongoing microarray deployment in the UC Santa Barbara Sedgwick Reserve, situated in the Santa Ynez Valley, to constrain seasonal and long‐term microseismic noise characteristics for this portion of California’s central coast. Ancillary buoy data (spectral data, wave height, wind speed and direction) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are used to explore the causal relationship between ocean swell and the generation of microseisms. This region is found to exhibit strong seasonality in the primary and secondary microseism bands (0.05–0.1 and 0.1–0.3 Hz, respectively), with much higher noise levels in the winter compared with the summer, especially for the secondary microseism (15.4 dB). We also observe a systematic shift in the peak frequency of the secondary microseism between the winter (∼0.14 Hz) and summer (∼0.20 Hz) months, which may reflect a difference in sources of secondary microseisms between the two seasons. Local buoy wave height and spectral data are well correlated with seismic power spectra during times of incoming storm swell in winter, indicating locally generated microseisms along the central coast during this season.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.