A simple pendulum borehole tiltmeter based on a triaxial optical-fibre displacement sensor

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Chawah , P ; Chéry , J ; Boudin , F ; Cattoen , Michel ; Seat , Han Cheng ; Plantier , Guy ; Lizion , Françoise ; Sourice , A ; Bernard , Patrick ; Brunet , C ; Boyer , D ; Gaffet , S (2015)
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv358
  • Subject: [ SDU.STU.GP ] Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Earth Sciences/Geophysics [physics.geo-ph] | Transient deformation | Tides and planetary waves | [SDU.STU.GP] Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Earth Sciences/Geophysics [physics.geo-ph] | Geomechanics

International audience; Sensitive instruments like strainmeters and tiltmeters are necessary for measuring slowly varying low amplitude Earth deformations. Nonetheless, laser and fibre interferometers are particularly suitable for interrogating such instruments due to their extreme precision and accuracy. In this paper, a practical design of a simple pendulum borehole tiltmeter based on laser fibre interferometric displacement sensors is presented. A prototype instrument has been constructed using welded borosilicate with a pendulum length of 0.85 m resulting in a main resonance frequency of 0.6 Hz. By implementing three coplanar extrinsic fibre Fabry-Perot in-terferometric probes and appropriate signal filtering, our instrument provides tilt measurements that are insensitive to parasitic deformations caused by temperature and pressure variations. This prototype has been installed in an underground facility (Rustrel, France) where results show accurate measurements of Earth strains derived from Earth and ocean tides, local hydro-logic effects, as well as local and remote earthquakes. The large dynamic range and the high sensitivity of this tiltmeter render it an invaluable tool for numerous geophysical applications such as transient fault motion, volcanic strain and reservoir monitoring.
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