Seismologists have long relied on earthquakes or expensive tools like explosives to help create images of Earths interior, but a new method created by University of Colorado at Boulder researchers will produce quicker, cheaper and clearer images.
Rather than waiting for earthquakes, the researchers have now recovered surface wave information from ambient seismic noise that is constantly produced by fluctuations in the Earths atmosphere and oceans. Measuring surface waves is important because they help scientists get a clearer picture of the Earths interior, according to Michael Ritzwoller, director of CU-Boulders Center for Imaging the Earths Interior and a physics professor.
"This new technique will give us a better fundamental understanding of the planet by providing much better resolution of Earths interior," Ritzwoller said. "It also will diminish what is known in seismology as the tyranny of earthquakes, which means having to wait for an earthquake to happen to do our jobs."
Michael Ritzwoller | EurekAlert!
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