Automatic detection of snow avalanches in continuous seismic data using hidden Markov models

Heck, Matthias; Hammer, Conny; van Herwijnen, Alec; Schweizer, Jürg; Fäh, Donat

Snow avalanches generate seismic signals as many other mass movements. Detection of avalanches by seismic monitoring is highly relevant to assess avalanche danger. In contrast to other seismic events, signals generated by avalanches do not have a characteristic first arrival nor is it possible to detect different wave phases. In addition, the moving source character of avalanches increases the intricacy of the signals. Although it is possible to visually detect seismic signals produced by avalanches, reliable automatic detection methods for all types of avalanches do not exist yet. We therefore evaluate whether hidden Markov models (HMMs) are suitable for the automatic detection of avalanches in continuous seismic data. We analyzed data recorded during the winter season 2010 by a seismic array deployed in an avalanche starting zone above Davos, Switzerland. We re-evaluated a reference catalogue containing 385 events by grouping the events in seven probability classes. Since most of the data consist of noise, we first applied a simple amplitude threshold to reduce the amount of data. As first classification results were unsatisfying, we analyzed the temporal behavior of the seismic signals for the whole data set and found that there is a high variability in the seismic signals. We therefore applied further post-processing steps to reduce the number of false alarms by defining a minimal duration for the detected event, implementing a voting-based approach and analyzing the coherence of the detected events. We obtained the best classification results for events detected by at least five sensors and with a minimal duration of inline-formula12 s. These processing steps allowed identifying two periods of high avalanche activity, suggesting that HMMs are suitable for the automatic detection of avalanches in seismic data. However, our results also showed that more sensitive sensors and more appropriate sensor locations are needed to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the signals and therefore the classification.

Zitieren

Zitierform:

Heck, Matthias / Hammer, Conny / van Herwijnen, Alec / et al: Automatic detection of snow avalanches in continuous seismic data using hidden Markov models. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

Zugriffsstatistik

Gesamt:
Volltextzugriffe:
Metadatenansicht:
12 Monate:
Volltextzugriffe:
Metadatenansicht:

Grafik öffnen

Rechte

Rechteinhaber: Matthias Heck et al.

Nutzung und Vervielfältigung:

Export