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On the Comparison of Records from Standard and Engineered Fiber Optic Cables at Etna Volcano (Italy)

Diaz-Meza, Sergio; Jousset, Philippe; Currenti, Gilda; Wollin, Christopher; Krawczyk, Charlotte; Clarke, Andy; Chalari, Athena

Distributed Dynamic Strain Sensing (DDSS), also known as Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), is becoming a popular tool in array seismology. A new generation of engineered fibers is being developed to improve sensitivity and reduce the noise floor in comparison to standard fibers, which are conventionally used in telecommunication networks. Nevertheless, standard fibers already have extensive coverage around the Earth’s surface, so it motivates the use of the existing infrastructure in DDSS surveys to avoid costs and logistics. In this study, we compare DDSS data from stack instances of standard multi-fiber cable with DDSS data from a co-located single-fiber engineered cable. Both cables were buried in an area located 2.5 km NE from the craters of Mt. Etna. We analyze how stacking can improve signal quality. Our findings indicate that the stack of DDSS records from five standard fiber instances, each 1.5 km long, can reduce optical noise of up to 20%. We also present an algorithm to correct artifacts in the time series that stem from dynamic range saturation. Although stacking is able to reduce optical noise, it is not sufficient for restoring the strain-rate amplitude from saturated signals in standard fiber DDSS. Nevertheless, the algorithm can restore the strain-rate amplitude from saturated DDSS signals of the engineered fiber, allowing us to exceed the dynamic range of the record. We present measurement strategies to increase the dynamic range and avoid saturation.
Published in: Sensors, 10.3390/s23073735, MDPI