Illuminating seafloor faults and ocean dynamics with dark fiber distributed acoustic sensing

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Science  29 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6469, pp. 1103-1107
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay5881

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Marine observations with optics

Placing sensors on the seafloor is difficult, but a sensor network has huge potential for observing processes occurring both below and above the seafloor. Lindsey et al. measured acoustic vibrations collected by attaching a laser to the Monterey Accelerated Research System's subsea optical fiber during a maintenance period (see the Perspective by Jousset). Acoustic waves were monitored by changes in laser light along the cable. The observations from just a few days allowed mapping of an unknown fault system and detection of several dynamic processes in the water column above.

Science, this issue p. 1103; see also p. 1076

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