Fluctuations in the cross-correlation for fields lacking full diffusivity: The statistics of spurious features

John Y. Yoritomo, Richard L. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inasmuch as ambient noise fields are often not fully diffuse the question arises as to how, or whether, noise cross-correlations converge to Green's function in practice. Well-known theoretical estimates suggest that the quality of convergence scales with the square root of the product of integration time and bandwidth. However, correlations from natural environments often show random features too large to be consistent with fluctuations from insufficient integration time. Here it is argued that empirical seismic correlations suffer in practice from spurious arrivals due to scatterers, and not from insufficient integration time. Estimates are sought for differences by considering a related problem consisting of waves from a finite density of point sources. The resulting cross-correlations are analyzed for their mean and variance. The mean is, as expected, Green's function with amplitude dependent on noise strength. The variance is found to have support for all times up to its maximum at the main arrival. The signal-to-noise ratio there scales with the square root of source density. Numerical simulations support the theoretical estimates. The result permits estimates of spurious arrivals' impact on identification of cross-correlations with Green's function and indicates that spurious arrivals may affect estimates of amplitudes, complicating efforts to infer attenuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-713
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluctuations in the cross-correlation for fields lacking full diffusivity: The statistics of spurious features'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this