Abstract

Seismic T waves, which result from transformation of hydroacoustic to seismic energy at coastlines, were investigated for two strong earthquakes. A 2014 Caribbean event generated seismic T waves that were detected at over 250 seismometers along the east coast of the U.S., primarily at seismic stations operated by the USArray Transportable Array. A 2006 Hawaiian event generated seismic T waves observed at over 100 seismometers along the west coast. Seismic T‐wave propagation was treated as locally 2D where the incoming hydroacoustic wavefronts were nearly parallel to the coastlines. Along the east coast, seismic T‐wave propagation velocities were consistent with surface waves and a polarization analysis indicated that they were transverse waves, supporting their interpretation as Love waves. They were observed at inland distances up to 1134 km from the east coast. Along the west coast, the propagation velocity was over 5  km/s and a polarization analysis confirmed that the seismic T waves propagated as seismic P waves. Differences between the modes of propagation along the east and west coasts are attributed to differences in the slope and thickness of the sediment coverage at the continental slopes where hydroacoustic to seismic conversion takes place.

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