12 Apr 2023
 | 12 Apr 2023

Array processing in cryoseismology

Thomas Samuel Hudson, Alex M. Brisbourne, Sofia-Katerina Kufner, J.-Michael Kendall, and Andy M. Smith

Abstract. Seismicity at glaciers, ice sheets and ice shelves provides observational constraint of a number of glaciological processes. Detecting and locating this seismicity, specifically icequakes, is a necessary first step in studying processes such as basal slip, crevassing, and imaging ice fabric, for example. Most glacier deployments to date use conventional seismic networks, comprised of seismometers distributed over the entire area of interest. However, smaller aperture seismic arrays can also be used, which are typically sensitive to seismicity distal from the array footprint and require a smaller number of instruments. Here, we investigate the potential of arrays and array-processing methods to detect and locate seismicity in the cryosphere, benchmarking performance against conventional seismic network-based methods. We also provide an array-processing recipe for cryosphere applications. Results from an array and network deployed at Rutford Ice Stream, Antarctica, show that arrays and networks both have strengths and weaknesses. Arrays can detect icequakes from further distances whereas networks outperform arrays for more comprehensive studies of a process within the network extent, due to greater hypocentral constraint and a smaller magnitude of completeness. We also gain new insights into seismic behaviour at Rutford Ice Stream. The array detects basal icequakes in what was previously interpreted to be an aseismic region of the bed, as well as new icequake observations at the ice stream shear-margins, where it would be challenging to deploy instruments. Finally, we make some practical recommendations for future array deployments at glaciers.

Thomas Samuel Hudson et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-657', Andreas Köhler, 01 May 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-657', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 May 2023

Thomas Samuel Hudson et al.

Thomas Samuel Hudson et al.


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Short summary
Earthquakes (or icequakes) at glaciers can shed light on fundamental glacier processes. These include glacier slip, crevassing and imaging ice structure. To date, most studies use networks of seismometers, sensitive primarily to icequakes within the spatial extent of the network. However, arrays of seismometers allow for icequakes to be detected at far greater distances. Here, we investigate the potential of such array-processing methods for studying icequakes at glaciers.