A geophone-based and low-cost data acquisition and analysis system designed for microtremor measurements

Kafadar Ö.

GEOSCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTATION METHODS AND DATA SYSTEMS, vol.9, pp.365-373, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The commercial data acquisition instruments designed for three-component microtremor measurements are usually very expensive devices. In this paper, a low-cost, computer-aided, and geophone-based system designed to record, monitor, and analyze three-component microtremor data is presented. This proposed system is not a simple data acquisition system. It is also an integrated system developed to interpret the microtremor data using the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (H/V) method without any external software. Therefore, the H/V peak frequency and amplitude can be easily estimated using this system. The proposed system has several features such as a 200 Hz sampling frequency, approximately 72 dB dynamic range, text data format, and data analysis tools. This system consists of a graphical user interface developed by using the .NET Framework 4.5.2 and external hardware that includes signal conditioning circuits, voltage converter circuit, external analog-to-digital converter, and Arduino Uno board. The proposed system uses low-cost vertical and horizontal geophones with a 4.5 Hz natural frequency to measure three-component microtremor data. The developed software undertakes many tasks such as communication between the external hardware and computer, transferring, monitoring, and recording the seismic data to the computer, and interpretation of the recorded data using the Nakamura method. Channel consistency and internal noise measurement tests were performed to demonstrate the accuracy and precision of the proposed system. The proposed system was compared to a commercial triaxial digital seismograph, and satisfactory results were obtained. The developed system is a completely open-source and open-hardware system and can be easily used in academic studies conducted by researchers and university students who are interested in seismic ambient noise analysis.