EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Space-time monitoring of groundwaterfluctuations with passive seismicinterferometry

Shujuan Mao1, Albanne Lecointre2, Robert D. van der Hilst3, and Michel Campillo2
Shujuan Mao et al.
  • 1Stanford University, Geophysics, Palo Alto, USA (
  • 2Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Université Grenoble Alpes, Saint Martin d'Hères, France
  • 3Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

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 20002020 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.

How to cite: Mao, S., Lecointre, A., van der Hilst, R. D., and Campillo, M.: Space-time monitoring of groundwaterfluctuations with passive seismicinterferometry, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1774,, 2023.