Investigating the Apparent Seismic Diffusivity of Near-Receiver Geology at Mount St. Helens Volcano, USA

Thomas King, Phil Benson, Luca de Siena, Sergio Vinciguerra

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We present an expanded approach of the diffusive approximation from Wegler (2003) to map strongly scattering geological structures in volcanic environments using seismic coda intensities and a diffusive approximation. Seismic data from a remarkably consistent LP hydrothermal source that was active during the late 2004 portion of the 2004-2008 dome building eruption of Mount St. Helens Volcano are used to obtain coefficient values for diffusion and attenuation and describe the rate at which seismic energy radiates into the surrounding medium. The results are then spatially plotted as a function of near-receiver geology to generate maps of near-surface geological and geophysical features. They indicate that the diffusion coefficient is a marker of the near-receiver geology, while the attenuation coefficients are sensitive to deeper volcanic structures. As previously observed by other studies, two main scattering regimes affect the coda envelopes: a diffusive, multiple-scattering regime close to the volcanic edifice and a much weaker, single-to-multiple scattering regime at higher source-receiver offsets. Within the diffusive, multiple-scattering regime, the spatial variations of the diffusion coefficient are sufficiently robust to show the features of laterally-extended, coherent, shallow geological structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number130
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgments: The SAGES VALIDATE forum provided travel money for the discussion of the methodology within De Siena and Benson.


  • Volcanology
  • Attenuation
  • Coda
  • Diffusion
  • Near-Receiver


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