Journal article

Seismic monitoring in the Gugla rock glacier (Switzerland): ambient noise correlation, microseismicity and modelling

  • Guillemot, Antoine Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, IRD, IFSTTAR, ISTerre, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Helmstetter, Agnès Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, IRD, IFSTTAR, ISTerre, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Larose, Éric Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, IRD, IFSTTAR, ISTerre, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Baillet, Laurent Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, IRD, IFSTTAR, ISTerre, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Garambois, Stéphane Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, IRD, IFSTTAR, ISTerre, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Mayoraz, Raphaël Geological Department, Canton of Wallis, 1951 Sion, Switzerland
  • Delaloye, Reynald Department of Geosciences/Geography, University of Fribourg, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
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    01.06.2020
Published in:
  • Geophysical Journal International. - 2020, vol. 221, no. 3, p. 1719–1735
English A network of seismometers has been installed on the Gugla rock glacier since October 2015 to estimate seismic velocity changes and detect microseismicity. These two processes are related to mechanical and structural variations occurring within the rock glacier. Seismic monitoring thus allows a better understanding of the dynamics of rock glaciers throughout the year. We observed seasonal variations in seismic wave velocity and microseismic activity over the 3 yr of the study. In the first part of our analysis, we used ambient noise correlations to compute daily changes of surface wave velocity. In winter, seismic wave velocities were higher, probably due to refreezing of the permafrost active layer and cooling of the uppermost permafrost layers, leading to increased overall rigidity of the medium. This assumption was verified using a seismic model of wave propagation that estimates the depth of P- and S-wave velocity changes from 0 down to 10 m. During melting periods, both a sudden velocity decrease and a decorrelation of the seismic responses were observed. These effects can probably be explained by the increased water content of the active layer. In the second part of our study, we focused on detecting microseismic signals generated in and around the rock glacier. This seismic activity (microquakes and rockfalls) also exhibits seasonal variations, with a maximum in spring and summer, which correlates principally with an exacerbated post-winter erosional phase of the front and a faster rock glacier displacement rate. In addition, we observed short bursts of microseismicity, both during snowfall and during rapid melting periods, probably due to pore pressure increase.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Géosciences
Language
  • English
Classification
Geology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/308753
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