Abstract

Horizontal records of ocean‐bottom seismographs are usually noisy at low frequencies (< 0.1 Hz). The noise source is believed to be associated with ocean‐bottom currents that may tilt the instrument. Currently horizontal records are mainly used to remove the coherent noise in vertical records, and there has been little literature that quantitatively discusses the mechanism and characteristics of low‐frequency horizontal noise. In this article, we analyze in situ ocean‐bottom measurements by rotating the data horizontally and evaluating the coherency between different channels. Results suggest that the horizontal noise consists of two components, random noise and principle noise whose direction barely changes in time. The amplitude and the direction of the latter are possibly related to the intensity and direction of ocean‐bottom currents. Rotating the horizontal records to the direction of the principle noise can largely suppress the principle noise in the orthogonal horizontal channel. In addition, the horizontal noise is incoherent with pressure, indicating that the noise source is not ocean surface water waves (infragravity waves). At some stations in shallow waters (<300 m), horizontal noise around 0.07 Hz is found to be linearly proportional to the temporal derivative of pressure, which is explained by forces of added mass due to infragravity waves.

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