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Hydroacoustic Travel Time Variations as a Proxy for Passive Deep-Ocean Thermometry
  • Pieter Smets,
  • Cornelis Weemstra,
  • Läslo Evers
Pieter Smets
Delft University of Technology

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Cornelis Weemstra
Delft University of Technology
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Läslo Evers
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
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We report on the extraction of deep ocean travel time variations from time-lapse cross-correlations between a hydrophone station and a three-component broadband seismometer. The signals we cross-correlate in this study result from repeated activity by the Monowai seamount, one of the most active submarine volcanoes of the Tonga-Kermadec ridge. In particular, we introduce a specific workflow to exploit repetitive hydroacoustic underwater source activity, which we detail to such extent that it serves as an example (or “cookbook”). For this reason, we have made the source code publicly available. The workflow proposed in this study (i) overcomes differences in instrument sensitivity and sample rates, (ii) involves the selection of eligible cross-correlations based on a source activity criterium as well as slowness analysis, and (iii) extracts the travel time variations in distinct frequency bands. In our case, the two frequency bands are 3-6 Hz and 6-12 Hz. We find that the estimated travel time variations in both frequency bands consist of a complex periodic pattern superimposed on a distinct long-term linear trend. This long-term linear trend is decreasing, which we attribute to increasing water temperatures along the propagation path of the hydroacoustic signals.