In this work we present the analysis of more than 9000 signals collected from February 2013 to January 2016 by a microseismic monitoring network installed on a 300 m high limestone cliff in the Italian Prealps. The investigated area was affected by a major rockfall in 1969 and several other minor events up to nowadays. The network features five three-component geophones and a weather station and can be remotely accessed thanks to a dedicated radio link. We first manually classified all the recorded signals and found out that 95 per cent of them are impulsive broad-band disturbances, while about 2 per cent may be related to rockfalls or fracture propagation. Signal parameters in the time and frequency domains were computed during the classification procedure with the aim of developing an automatic classification routine based on linear discriminant analysis. The algorithm proved to have a hit rate higher than 95 per cent and a tolerable false alarm rate and it is now running on the field PC of the acquisition board to autonomously discard useless events. Analysis of lightning data sets provided by the Italian Lightning Detection Network revealed that the large majority of broad-band signals are caused by electromagnetic activity during thunderstorms. Cross-correlation between microseismic signals and meteorological parameters suggests that rainfalls influence the hydrodynamic conditions of the rock mass and can trigger rockfalls and fracture propagation very quickly since the start of a rainfall event. On the other hand, temperature seems to have no influence on the stability conditions of the monitored cliff. The only sensor deployed on the rock pillar next to the 1969 rockfall scarp typically recorded events with higher amplitude as well as energy. We deem that this is due to seismic amplification phenomena and we performed ambient noise recording sessions to validate this hypothesis. Results confirm that seismic amplification occurs, although we were not able to identify any spectral peak with confidence because the sensors used are not suitable for this task. In addition, we found out that there is a preferential polarization of the wave field along the EW direction and this is in agreement with the geological analysis according to which the pillar is overhanging towards the 1969 rockfall scarp and may preferentially evolve in a wedge failure. Event location was not possible because of the lack of a velocity model of the rock mass. We tried to distinguish between near and far events by analysing the covariance matrix of the three-component recordings. Although the parameters and the outcomes of this analysis should be evaluated very carefully, it seems that about 90 per cent of the considered microseismic signals are related to the stability conditions of the monitored area.

Analysis of microseismic signals collected on an unstable rock face in the Italian Prealps / Arosio, Diego; Longoni, Laura; Papini, Monica; Boccolari, Mauro; Zanzi, Luigi. - In: GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0956-540X. - 213:1(2018), pp. 475-488. [10.1093/gji/ggy010]

Analysis of microseismic signals collected on an unstable rock face in the Italian Prealps

Arosio, Diego;Boccolari, Mauro;Zanzi, Luigi
2018

Abstract

In this work we present the analysis of more than 9000 signals collected from February 2013 to January 2016 by a microseismic monitoring network installed on a 300 m high limestone cliff in the Italian Prealps. The investigated area was affected by a major rockfall in 1969 and several other minor events up to nowadays. The network features five three-component geophones and a weather station and can be remotely accessed thanks to a dedicated radio link. We first manually classified all the recorded signals and found out that 95 per cent of them are impulsive broad-band disturbances, while about 2 per cent may be related to rockfalls or fracture propagation. Signal parameters in the time and frequency domains were computed during the classification procedure with the aim of developing an automatic classification routine based on linear discriminant analysis. The algorithm proved to have a hit rate higher than 95 per cent and a tolerable false alarm rate and it is now running on the field PC of the acquisition board to autonomously discard useless events. Analysis of lightning data sets provided by the Italian Lightning Detection Network revealed that the large majority of broad-band signals are caused by electromagnetic activity during thunderstorms. Cross-correlation between microseismic signals and meteorological parameters suggests that rainfalls influence the hydrodynamic conditions of the rock mass and can trigger rockfalls and fracture propagation very quickly since the start of a rainfall event. On the other hand, temperature seems to have no influence on the stability conditions of the monitored cliff. The only sensor deployed on the rock pillar next to the 1969 rockfall scarp typically recorded events with higher amplitude as well as energy. We deem that this is due to seismic amplification phenomena and we performed ambient noise recording sessions to validate this hypothesis. Results confirm that seismic amplification occurs, although we were not able to identify any spectral peak with confidence because the sensors used are not suitable for this task. In addition, we found out that there is a preferential polarization of the wave field along the EW direction and this is in agreement with the geological analysis according to which the pillar is overhanging towards the 1969 rockfall scarp and may preferentially evolve in a wedge failure. Event location was not possible because of the lack of a velocity model of the rock mass. We tried to distinguish between near and far events by analysing the covariance matrix of the three-component recordings. Although the parameters and the outcomes of this analysis should be evaluated very carefully, it seems that about 90 per cent of the considered microseismic signals are related to the stability conditions of the monitored area.
2018
213
1
475
488
Analysis of microseismic signals collected on an unstable rock face in the Italian Prealps / Arosio, Diego; Longoni, Laura; Papini, Monica; Boccolari, Mauro; Zanzi, Luigi. - In: GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0956-540X. - 213:1(2018), pp. 475-488. [10.1093/gji/ggy010]
Arosio, Diego; Longoni, Laura; Papini, Monica; Boccolari, Mauro; Zanzi, Luigi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1154464
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