Short‐Range Recordings of Shallow Underwater Explosions with Short‐Period and Broadband Seismometers in the Bay of Hyères, France

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Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
This study presents the analysis of the seismic records of eight underwater explosions triggered by the French Navy Mine Warfare Office in December 2018 in the Bay of Hyères, southeast France. The explosions (charges of 80–680 kg TNT‐equivalent) were recorded by 17 temporary stations composed of medium‐to‐broadband velocimeters and accelerometers and of microelectromechanical systems accelerometers with sampling rates of 250 or 500 samples per second, installed at less than 10 km from the sources. The relatively high sampling rates used in this study allow us to observe, at the same time, seismic, hydroacoustic, and acoustic signals at the shore. This experiment offers a unique opportunity to investigate the impact at the shore, and in the water, of relatively large‐charge weight detonations as well as of the amplification effects of the sedimentary cover. We notably see that the hydroacoustic signal is, at the rocky sites, the most energetic wavepacket recorded, and that its observation seems to be conditioned by the bathymetry and the seabed sedimentary cover. We also show that the hydroacoustic phase can be advantageously used to precisely estimate the location and origin time of the explosions. Finally, analyses of the spectrum and site response along the shore and at a bell tower on the Porquerolles Island provide interesting insights on the mitigation of the possible nuisance caused at the shore by the disposal of unexploded historical ordnance.