Low-Frequency Ground Vibrations Generated by Debris Flows Detected by a Lab-Fabricated Seismometer

Ching Jer Huang, Hsin Yu Chen, Chung Ray Chu, Ching Ren Lin, Li Chen Yen, Hsiao Yuen Yin, Chau Chang Wang, Ban Yuan Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A lab-fabricated ocean bottom seismometer was modified and deployed terrestrially to detect low-frequency (<10 Hz) ground vibrations produced by debris flows. A frequency–response test of the new seismometer revealed that it can detect seismic signals at frequencies of 0.3–120 Hz. Its seismic ground motion detection ability was investigated by comparing its measurements of seismic signals produced by rockfalls with those of a geophone. Two new seismometers were deployed at the Aiyuzi Stream, Nantou County, Taiwan, in September 2012. Seismic signals produced by two local earthquakes, two teleseisms, and three debris flows detected by the seismometer in 2013 and 2014 were discussed. The seismic signal frequencies of the local earthquakes and teleseisms (both approximately 1800 km apart) were 0.3–30 and <1 Hz, respectively. Moreover, seismometer measurements revealed that seismic signals generated by debris flows can have minimum frequencies as low as 2 Hz. Time-matched CCD camera images revealed that debris flow surge fronts with larger rocks have lower minimum frequencies. Finally, because the seismometer can detect low-frequency seismic waves with low spatial decay rates, it was able to detect one debris flow approximately 3 min and 40 s before it arrived.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9310
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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