The Seafloor Borehole Array Seismic System (SEABASS) and VLF ambient noise Academic Article uri icon


  • The Seafloor Borehole Array Seismic System (SEABASS) has been developed to measure the pressure and three-dimensional particle velocity of the VLF sound field (2-50 Hz) below the seafloor in the deep ocean. The system consists of four three-component borehole seismometers (with an optional hydrophone), a borehole digitizing unit, and a seafloor control and recording package. The system can be deployed using a wireline re-entry capability from a conventional research vessel in Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) boreholes. Data from below the seafloor are acquired either onboard the research vessel via coaxial tether or remotely on the seafloor in a self-contained package. If necessary the data module from the seafloor package can be released independently and recovered on the surface. This paper describes the engineering specifications of SEABASS, the tests that were carried out, and preliminary results from an actual deep sea deployment. VLF ambient noise levels beneath the seafloor acquired on the Low Frequency Acoustic-Seismic Experiment (LFASE) are within 20 dB of levels from previous seafloor borehole seismic experiments and from land borehole measurements. The ambient noise observed on LFASE decreases by up to 12 dB in the upper 100 m of the seafloor in a sedimentary environment.

publication date

  • August 1994