Multiscale seismic reflectivity of shallow thermoclines

Type Article
Date 2015-03
Language English
Author(s) Ker StephanORCID1, Le Gonidec Yves2, Marie Louis3, Thomas Yannick1, Gibert Dominique2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, Geosci Marines, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Univ Rennes 1, CNRS, UMR 6118, Geosci Rennes, Rennes, France.
3 : IFREMER, Lab Phys Oceans, CNRS, IRD,UBO,UMR 6523, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans (0148-0227) (Amer Geophysical Union), 2015-03 , Vol. 120 , N. 3 , P. 1872-1886
DOI 10.1002/2014JC010478
WOS© Times Cited 5
Keyword(s) thermocline, seismic method, wavelet analysis, acoustic
Abstract Seismic Oceanography is coming of age as an established technique of observation of the thermohaline structure of the ocean. The present paper deals with the seismic reflectivity of the Armorican Shelf seasonal thermocline, west of France, based on two seismic experiments performed with a sparker source. The peak frequency was 500 Hz for the ASPEX experiment, where the thermocline was located at 27 m water depth, and reduced to 400 Hz associated to a higher source level for the IFOSISMO experiment, where the thermocline was 12 m deeper. Despite this settings, only the first experiment could clearly highlight the thermocline reflector, providing the first seismic observation of a shallow oceanic structure. To better understand the limitation of high-resolution seismic devices in detecting weak oceanic features, we develop a wavelet-based seismic analysis and consider, as a first approximation, a simple thermocline modelled by a Gauss Error function, allowing an analytical expression for the associated seismic reflectivity. We show that the acoustic impedance profile of the thermocline is mainly controlled by a sound velocity proportional to the temperature. We show that the seismic reflectivity is controlled by the reflection coefficient of the large-scale structure of the thermocline and by an attenuation factor which depends on the ratio between the seismic wavelength and the characteristic size of the thermocline. Depending on this ratio, the strength of the thermocline-related reflection may be too weak to be detected by seismic measurement.
Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Author's final draft 50 671 KB Open access
Publisher's official version 15 1 MB Open access
Top of the page