Real-time monitoring of seismic events with submarine fibre optic cable from Telecom Italia

Science successfully uses the existing infrastructure between the island of Vulcano and Milazzo in Sicily.

Joint press release by GFZ (Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam), TIM (Telecom Italia) and INGV (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italia)

The submarine fibre-optic cables of TIM can be used by research and science thanks to the experiments conducted by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) Potsdam to monitor seismic events related to active volcanism.

The experiment, unique in Italy, was carried out in the Sicilian waters for around one month using the section of submarine optical fibre linking the TIM power station on Vulcano, one of the Aeolian Islands, to Milazzo in northern Sicily, which stretches over a distance of around 50 kilometres on the seabed.

Using optical fibre as a seismic sensor makes it possible to record signals with high spatial (around 4 metres) and temporal resolution (1 kHz).

The DAS (Distributed Acoustic Sensing) device installed at the power station sends pulses of light into the fibre and records the backscattered signal influenced by dynamic strain variations. By analysing this, it is possible to derive the movement of the earth remotely via the Internet.

During the experiment, around 20 Terabytes of data were continuously acquired, which are now being studied by scientists to understand the processes responsible for the reawakening of volcanic activity on the island. Right from the first analyses it was apparent that the new technology used has proven to have excellent signal accuracy and sensitivity of seismic signals, making it possible to observe the dynamic strain variations created by anthropogenic and natural sources, with clear strain variations on the fibre generated by local seismic events.

This important initiative paves the way for possible areas of application where the TIM Group’s fibre-optic, land and underwater infrastructures can be used in the scientific field to develop next-generation sensor solutions thanks to the expertise of leading international research bodies, such as the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology and the German Research Centre for Geosciences Potsdam.
 

Scientific contact:

Dr. Philippe Jousset
Scientist in Section 2.2 Geophysical Imaging
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
Tel.: +49 331 288-1299
E-Mail: philippe.jousset@gfz-potsdam.de
 

Media contact:

Dr. Uta Deffke
Public and Media Relations
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 288-1049
Email: uta.deffke@gfz-potsdam.de


TIM Press Office
Phone: +39 06 36882610
https://www.gruppotim.it/media/eng
Twitter: @TIMnewsroom

INGV Press Office
Phone: +39 0651860514
www.ingv.it

 

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