Hydroacoustic Travel Time Variations as a Proxy for Passive Deep-Ocean Thermometry: A Cookbook

P.S.M. Smets*, C. Weemstra, L.G. Evers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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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 an 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 (a) overcomes differences in instrument sensitivity and sample rates, (b) involves the selection of eligible cross-correlations based on a source activity criterium as well as slowness analysis, and (c) extracts the travel time variations in distinct frequency bands. In our case, the two frequency bands are 3–6 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 robust linear trend. This linear trend is decreasing, which we attribute to increasing water temperatures along the propagation path of the hydroacoustic signals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022JC018451
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • cross-correlation
  • deep-ocean
  • hydrophone
  • seismometer
  • time-lapse


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