Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2018

Presentation information

[EJ] Poster

S (Solid Earth Sciences) » S-SS Seismology

[S-SS10] Seismic wave propagation: Theory and Application

Thu. May 24, 2018 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Poster Hall (International Exhibition Hall7, Makuhari Messe)

convener:Kiwamu Nishida(Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo), Kazuya Shiraishi(Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology), Takao Nibe((株)地球科学総合研究所, 共同), Kaoru Sawazaki(National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience)

[SSS10-P08] Sonification of Seismograms for Exploring Dynamic Triggering Earthquakes

*Takahiko Uchide1, Yota Morimoto2, Masaki Matsubara3 (1.Research Institute of Earthquake and Volcano Geology, Geological Survey of Japan, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 2.Institute of Sonology, Royal Conservatory of the Hague, 3.Faculty of Library, Information, and Media Science, University of Tsukuba)

Keywords:Seismic Sonification, Dynamic Triggering Earthquakes

In general, displaying data is important to understand the implication of the data. In seismology, we usually visualize seismograms by plotting them as a function of time. Sometimes we plot seismograms from multiple stations and filter them in order to emphasize the feature of the data. Another way to display the seismic data is the conversion into the audio. The sonification is the technique to assign sounds according to the character of the input data. We have reported the sonification of the strong-motion records for the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake (Uchide et al., JpGU, 2016; Matsubara et al., 2016). The sonified audio conveyed the impression that the seismic wave propagated over Japan Islands. In addition, we could hear that the distinct sound from the dynamic triggering event in the Hida Mountain. This is because that we can distinguish sounds in different frequency content. The seismic waves from the dynamic triggering event are more energy at high frequencies (e.g., 10 Hz and higher), however those from the Tohoku-oki earthquake at such high frequencies are attenuated and scattered during the long travel. In the case of the visualization, it is very difficult to find such high frequency waves, since the low-frequency component has much greater amplitude.

Here we are going to apply the sonification technique to the exploration of the dynamic triggering event without any bandpass or highpass filters. At least, this will be useful for the screening. For that purpose, we are developing the software named as Sonification of Seismograms (SoS) to perform the sonification. The sonification technique assigns sounds according to the dominant frequency and the amplitude of the moving time window (Matsubara et al., 2016). The dominant frequency was defined as the number of zero-crossing divided by the length of the time window. The program operates on SuperCollider. By a GUI, we can choose the area where the stations are used for the sonification.

We sonified seismograms for earthquakes greater than M 7 in the world. In front of our poster, we will provide the opportunity to listen the sonified sounds for the seismograms with and without dynamic triggering events.


We used the Global CMT Catalog and seismic data from Hi-net of NIED, seismic data from JMA, Hokkaido University, Hirosaki University, Tohoku University, the University of Tokyo, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, Kochi University, Kyushu University, Kagoshima University, and AIST. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI 17K14386.


Matsubara, M., Morimoto, Y., & Uchide, T. (2016). Collaborative study of interactive seismic array sonification for data exploration and public outreach activities. In Proceedings of ISon 2016, 5th Interactive Sonification Workshop (pp. 56-60).

Uchide, T., Morimoto, Y., & Matsubara, M. (2016). Seismic audification and sonification for data exploration, JpGU Annual Meeting, SSS28-P02.