Seismic observations of four thunderstorms using an underground fiber-optic array

Samuel Hone, Tieyuan Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Thunderstorms are a common atmospheric phenomenon that cause abundant acoustic disturbances, which can interact with the ground surface, creating a link between atmospheric and solid Earth processes. This article reports seismological observations of four thunderstorms through the spring and summer of 2019, as recorded by the distributed acoustic sensing fiber-optic array (4.9 km) on the Penn State campus in State College, Pennsylvania. With a dense sensor array in the local region, we are able to construct the seismic full waveform response of the thunderstorm events (hereafter referred to as thunderquakes) and track the wave propagation across the array. We use a time-domain grid search to obtain the back azimuth and slowness of the waves, and a modified Geiger's method to pinpoint source locations of the thunderquakes. Correlated with the time of the recorded signal, this data allows reconstruction of thunderstorm movement as well as offering measurements of the seismic velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2389-2398
Number of pages10
JournalSeismological Research Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics


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