Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) field trials for near-surface geotechnical properties, earthquake seismology, and mine monitoring

Wang, Herbert (University of Wisconsin-Madison) | Fratta, Dante (University of Wisconsin-Madison) | Lord, Neal (University of Wisconsin-Madison) | Zeng, Xiangfang (Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) | Coleman, Thomas (Silixa LLC)


Each of the Wisconsin field trials used active sources that ranged from a hammer source to fixed and truck-mounted 40-270 kN swept-frequency sources. Two of the field trials were near highways where traffic was a source of ambient noise. Geophones were colocated near the DAS cable to benchmark and complement the DAS response. The goals of the studies were to understand the ground motions recorded by DAS and to prototype DAS applications using active sources, ambient or traffic noise, and earthquakes. Introduction Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology can image the subsurface using dense arrays whose spatial resolution is on the order of ten meters and whose dimensions can be tens of kilometers given the relatively low cost of fiberoptic cable and currently available interrogator and processing technology (Parker et al., 2014). The flexibility of fiberoptic cable allows for many possible geometric configurations.