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Can we characterize groundwater reservoirs in central Europe from air pressure induced seismic velocity changes?

Given the increasing challenges posed by climate change, especially more frequent and severe droughts experienced globally, effective exploration and management of groundwater resources is essential to ensure a sustainable and resilient society. As part of this effort, it is necessary to acquire comprehensive knowledge of the distribution of significant and readily accessible freshwater reservoirs on continents. This outlines the critical need for an efficient and cost-effective imaging method to assess this vital resource. In response, we propose a novel imaging method that utilizes observations of air-pressure-induced seismic velocity changes. We utilize findings of our study (Kramer et al., 2023) which shows atmospheric tides and their interaction with the groundwater body are the primary cause of sub-daily seismic velocity changes. Analyzing these velocity changes can reveal valuable information on the hydro-geophysical properties of the underlying groundwater body. Building on this knowledge, we introduce this imaging method and apply it to the seismic data collected across South and Central Europe. For this purpose, we use coda-wave-interferometry to investigate four years of continuous data from AlpArray and other locations throughout Europe.

Kramer, R., Lu, Y., & Bokelmann, G. (2023). Interaction of air pressure and groundwater as main cause of sub-daily relative seismic velocity changes. Geophysical Research Letters, 50, e2022GL101298.


Richard Kramer1, Yang Lu1, Götz Bokelmann1
1University of Vienna, Austria
GeoBerlin 2023