Characterization of the seismic environment at the Sanford Underground Laboratory, South Dakota

J. Harms*, F. Acernese, F. Barone, I. Bartos, M. Beker, J.F.J. van den Brand, N. Christensen, M. Coughlin, R. DeSalvo, S. Dorsher, J. Heise, S. Kandhasamy, V. Mandic, S. Marka, G. Mueller, L. Naticchioni, T. O'Keefe, D.S. Rabeling, A. Sajeva, T. TrancyngerV. Wand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


An array of seismometers is being developed at the Sanford Underground Laboratory, the former Homestake mine, in South Dakota to study the properties of underground seismic fields and Newtonian noise, and to investigate the possible advantages of constructing a third-generation gravitational-wave detector underground. Seismic data were analyzed to characterize seismic noise and disturbances. External databases were used to identify sources of seismic waves: ocean-wave data to identify sources of oceanic microseisms and surface wind-speed data to investigate correlations with seismic motion as a function of depth. In addition, sources of events contributing to the spectrum at higher frequencies are characterized by studying the variation of event rates over the course of a day. Long-term observations of spectral variations provide further insight into the nature of seismic sources. Seismic spectra at three different depths are compared, establishing the 4100 ft level as a world-class low seismic-noise environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number225011
Number of pages22
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes




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