Ocean’s hidden heat measured with earthquake sounds

Ocean’s hidden heat measured with earthquake sounds

A team of seismologists and oceanographers has shown that small earthquakes repeatedly emanating from the same spot beneath the ocean floor can help measure changes in ocean temperature. The quakes generate reliable acoustic signals for measuring ocean temperatures, including at depths below 2000 meters, beyond the reach of other techniques. If validated, the approach, published this week in Science, could open an entirely new ocean observation system for understanding past and future climate change, says Frederik Simons, a geophysicist at Princeton University unaffiliated with the study. “There’s a potential treasure trove of data waiting to be analyzed.”

Read the research: https://scim.ag/32FlfPl

For more background: https://scim.ag/2FJLPO7

PRODUCER/EDITOR
Joel Goldberg

ANIMATIONS
Joel Goldberg

ORIGINAL MAPS
Meagan Cantwell

SPECIAL THANKS
Meagan Cantwell
Eric Hand
Jesse Smith
Paul Voosen

MUSIC

“Electric Car” by Podington Bear
“Gentle Chase” by Podington Bear

SEISMIC MAP ANIMATIONS

NOAA/National Weather Service/
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Seismic Sound Lab/Columbia University

NATURAL SOUND
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization/
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Lab

IMAGES
Bron766/Wikimedia Commons

California Coastal Commission
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization

VIDEO
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization
John Hunt/Phil Sutton/The Argo Program
NOAA/Ocean Today
Pond5
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Videoblocks
Wolfram Language

REFERENCES

W. Wu et al., Science 2020
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb9519

M. Tolstoy and D.R. Bohnenstiehl,
Surveys in Geophysics 2006
DOI: 10.1007/s10712-006-9003-6