Seismological Processing of Six Degree-of-Freedom Ground-Motion Data


Recent progress in rotational sensor technology has made it possible to directly measure rotational ground-motion induced by seismic waves. When combined with conventional inertial seismometer recordings, the new sensors allow one to locally observe six degrees of freedom (6DOF) of ground-motion, composed of three orthogonal components of translational motion and three orthogonal components of rotational motion. The applications of such 6DOF measurements are manifold—ranging from wavefield characterization, separation, and reconstruction to the reduction of non-uniqueness in seismic inverse problems—and have the potential to revolutionize the way seismic data are acquired and processed. However, the seismological community has yet to embrace rotational ground-motion as a new observable. The aim of this paper is to give a high-level introduction into the field of 6DOF seismology using illustrative examples and to summarize recent progress made in this relatively young field. It is intended for readers with a general background in seismology. In order to illustrate the seismological value of rotational ground-motion data, we provide the first-ever 6DOF processing example of a teleseismic earthquake recorded on a multicomponent ring laser observatory and demonstrate how wave parameters (phase velocity, propagation direction, and ellipticity angle) and wave types of multiple phases can be automatically estimated using single-station 6DOF processing tools. Python codes to reproduce this processing example are provided in an accompanying Jupyter notebook.

Further Information
  author = {Sollberger, David and Igel, Heiner and Schmelzbach, Cedric and Edme, Pascal and van Manen, Dirk-Jan and Bernauer, Felix and Yuan, Shihao and Wassermann, Joachim and Schreiber, Ulrich and Robertsson, Johan O. A.},
  doi = {10.3390/s20236904},
  journal = {Sensors},
  language = {en},
  number = {23},
  title = {Seismological Processing of Six Degree-of-Freedom Ground-Motion Data},
  url = {},
  volume = {20},
  year = {2020},
%O Journal Article
%A Sollberger, David
%A Igel, Heiner
%A Schmelzbach, Cedric
%A Edme, Pascal
%A van Manen, Dirk-Jan
%A Bernauer, Felix
%A Yuan, Shihao
%A Wassermann, Joachim
%A Schreiber, Ulrich
%A Robertsson, Johan O. A.
%R 10.3390/s20236904
%J Sensors
%G en
%N 23
%T Seismological Processing of Six Degree-of-Freedom Ground-Motion Data
%V 20
%D 2020