Long-range correlations of microseism-band pressure fluctuations in the ocean

Justin S. Ball*, Oleg A. Godin, Läslo G. Evers, Cheng Lv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate the spatial coherence of underwater ambient noise using a yearlong time-series measured off Ascension Island. Qualitative agreement with observed cross-correlations is achieved using a simple range-dependent model, constrained by earlier, active tomographic studies in the area. In particular, the model correctly predicts the existence of two weakly dispersive normal modes in the microseism frequency range, with the group speed of one of the normal modes being smaller than the sound speed in water. The agreement justifies our interpretation of the peaks of the measured cross-correlation function of ambient noise as modal arrivals, with dispersion that is sensitive to crustal velocity structure. Our observations are consistent with Scholte to Moho head wave coupled propagation, with double mode conversion occurring due to the bathymetric variations between receivers. We thus demonstrate the feasibility of interrogating crustal properties using noise interferometry of moored hydrophone data at ranges in excess of 120 km.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-834
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Acoustic properties
  • Interface waves
  • Interferometry
  • Oceanic hotspots and intraplate volcanism
  • Theoretical seismology
  • Wave propagation


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