Space-time monitoring of groundwater fluctuations with passive seismic interferometry

Shujuan Mao, Albanne Lecointre, Robert van der Hilst, & Michel Campillo

Submitted September 11, 2022, SCEC Contribution #12593, 2022 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #192

Historic levels of drought, globally, call for sustainable freshwater management. Under pressing demand is a refined understanding of the structures and dynamics of groundwater systems. Here we present an unconventional, cost-effective approach to aquifer monitoring using seismograph arrays. Employing advanced seismic interferometry techniques, we calculate the space-time evolution of relative changes in seismic velocity, as a measure of hydrological properties. During 2000–2020 in basins near Los Angeles, seismic velocity variations match groundwater tables measured in wells and surface deformations inferred from satellite sensing, but the seismological approach adds temporal and depth resolutions for deep structures and processes. Maps of long-term seismic velocity changes reveal distinct patterns (decline or recovery) of groundwater storage in basins that are adjacent but adjudicated to water districts conducting different pumping practices. This pilot application bridges the gap between seismology and hydrology, and shows the promise of leveraging seismometers worldwide to provide 4D characterizations of groundwater and other near-surface systems.

Key Words
groundwater, long-term monitoring, seismic interferometry

Mao, S., Lecointre, A., van der Hilst, R., & Campillo, M. (2022, 09). Space-time monitoring of groundwater fluctuations with passive seismic interferometry. Poster Presentation at 2022 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Stress and Deformation Over Time (SDOT)