Seismic topographic scattering in the context of GW detector site selection

M. Coughlin, J. Harms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present a calculation of seismic scattering from irregular surface topography in the Born approximation. Based on US-wide topographic data, we investigate topographic scattering at specific sites to demonstrate its impact on Newtonian-noise estimation and subtraction for future gravitational-wave detectors. We find that topographic scattering at a comparatively flat site in Oregon would not pose any problems, whereas scattering at a second site in Montana leads to significant broadening of wave amplitudes in wavenumber space that would make Newtonian-noise subtraction very challenging. Therefore, it is shown that topographic scattering should be included as criterion in the site-selection process of future low-frequency gravitational-wave detectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075004
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 7 2012
Externally publishedYes


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