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College of Arts & Sciences
School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

SEOE Seminar Series: Dr. Jonathan Lees, UNC Chapel Hill

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 3:30pm

Location:  Jones Bldg., Room 006


Title: “Infrasonic Looney Tunes: Volcanoes, Oceans and Music of the Spheres”  

Acoustical modeling of sound waves from exploding volcanoes has lead us to investigate the stratosphere, which contains a rich array of natural signals that can be used to constrain explosion dynamics as well as the global heat budget of the Earth.  We present the first recording of ocean generated microbarom signals collected on a balloon borne station above a storm in the Southern Ocean.  From May 15 to June 5, 2016, the NASA high altitude floating balloon platform completed a full circumnavigation of Antarctica.  Instrumentation on the platform included a pair of infrasound microphones recording at 100 sample/s.  During the flight the station hovered briefly over a storm that produced unusually high microbarom energy, based on Wave-Watch III models.  The confluence of the ocean storm and the stratospheric balloon platform is thus the most direct test of the Longuet-Higgins (1950) microseism source theory. 
We present the analysis predicting transfer of energy from the ocean to the stratosphere and estimate heating of the thermosphere as a result of ocean wave interaction.