New Fiber Optic Seismic Array in Pasadena Precisely Tracked the Rose Parade

Seismic Activity Rose Parade

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Light-colored streaks suggest specific drifts, bands, and motorbikes tracked by the Pasadena Array. Credit: Zhongwen Zhan

New seismic selection is delicate enough to differentiate specific drifts and bands.

In November, Caltech and the City of Pasadena revealed a brand-new citywide fiber optic earthquake detector efficient in mapping how temblors are shaking the city at millimeter-scale resolution.

A month and a half later on, while countless viewers seen drifts and bands parade down Colorado Boulevard, Caltech scientists saw the seismic signal of those drifts and bands, recorded in great information by the selection.

“The Rose Parade is an amazing cultural event in Pasadena, and the floats and bands run right on top of our newly established fiber seismic array,” states Zhongwen Zhan (MS ’08, PhD ’13), assistant teacher of geophysics and the lead scientist on the fiber optic task. Zhan is the matching author of a paper about the Rose Parade’s seismic signature, released in the journal Seismological Research Letters in n May.

The Pasadena Array makes the most of 2 presently unused, or “dark,” hairs of the City of Pasadena’s fiber optic cable television network, which is normally buried simply listed below ground and stretches in a big loop around the city. Two laser emitters shoot beams through the cable televisions. The cable televisions have small flaws every couple of meters that show back a tiny part of the light to the source, where it is tracked and tape-recorded. In this way, each flaw functions as a trackable waypoint along the fiber optic cable television. Seismic waves moving through the ground trigger the cable television to broaden and contract a little, which alters the travel time of light to and from these waypoints. Thus, the flaws imitate specific “virtual” seismometers that enable seismologists to observe the movement of seismic waves. The method is called Distributed Acoustic Sensing, or DAS.

The Pasadena Array has more than 5,000 of these virtual sensing units; about 400 were placed along the Rose Parade path. Zhan discovered that heavy drifts—those weighing about 16,000 to 18,000 kgs—produced unique long-period signals, while marching bands produced weaker long-period signals however strong signals in the 1.0–10 Hz frequency band.

Digging into the information, Zhan had the ability to identify the most ground-shaking marching bands: those from Southern University and A&M College, and the home town Pasadena City College Honor Band. He likewise identified the space triggered when the float “Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day” got stuck at the corner of Colorado and Sierra Madre boulevards for 6 minutes.

“The 2020 Rose Parade provided a rare calibration opportunity with well-controlled unidirectional traffic and heavy, slow-moving vehicles right on top of a section of the array. The Pasadena Array performed as well as expected,” Zhan states.

The research study is entitled “Rose Parade seismology: signatures of floats and bands on optical fiber.” Caltech co-authors are postdoctoral scholar Xin Wang and college student Ethan F. Williams (MS ’19); other co-authors consist of Martin Karrenbach at OptaSense Inc.; Miguel González Herráez at the University of Alcalá, Spain; and Hugo Fidalgo Martins at CSIC, Spain. This research study was supported by a five-year arrangement with the City of Pasadena to utilize the dark fiber; a National Science Foundation PROFESSION Award; and the Caltech-JPL President’s and Director’s Research and Development Fund (PDRDF).

Reference: ” Rose Parade Seismology: Signatures of Floats and Bands on Optical Fiber” by Xin Wang, Ethan F. Williams, Martin Karrenbach, Miguel González Herráez, Hugo Fidalgo Martins and Zhongwen Zhan, 6 May 2020, Seismological Research Letters.
DOI: 10.1785/0220200091
CaltechAUTHORS: 20200506-105533707

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