Meteor Infrasound

Current Meteor Infrasound Research Projects


Below is a summary of the research publications and projects by our group listed thematically. You can also find a list by date of publication here.

For the list of possible future student projects, click *here*.

Meteor infrasound from large bolides: Monitoring issues
Purpose: To determine infrasound array detection efficiency, identify noise issues and propagation paths using bolides as "target" detection sources. Develop empirical infrasound relations for global (>0.01 kT) bolides relating source energy to period, amplitude and winds allowing measurements of source energy from infrasound alone.


Initial results:

Arrowsmith S.J., ReVelle D.O., Edwards W.N. and Brown P. (2008) Global Infrasonic Signals from Three Large Bolides, Earth, Moon and Planets.102, 357-363.

Edwards W.N., Brown P., and ReVelle D.O. (2006) Estimates of meteoroid kinetic energies from observations of infrasonic airwaves, JASTP, 68, 1136-1160.

Edwards W.N., Brown P. and ReVelle D.O (2005) Bolide Airwave Analysis, Earth, Moon and Planets, 95, 501-512.



Weak Shock Theory & Meteors

Purpose: Develop an analytic model for weak-shock propagation of bolides to the Earth's surface based on the ReVelle (1976) theory. Identify and update theory to include real atmosphere (winds, non isothermal) and new attenuation terms. Ultimately develop an analytic model for comparison to theory to provide self-consistent estimates of infrasnic mass, energy and acoustic efficiency from airwave observations alone.

Initial results:

Edwards W.N., Brown P.G., Weryk R.J., ReVelle D.O. (2008) Infrasonic observations of meteoroids: Preliminary results from a coordinated optical-radar-infrasound observing campaign, Earth, Moon and Planets, 102, 221-229



High Altitude Shock Production from Meteors

Purpose: Observational survey of detections of infrasound for altitudes > 80 km for meteors. Determine lower limit for energy generation of infrasound from meteors and evaluate accuracy of HWM-93 model. Comparision of infrasonic energy and pancromatic radiation suggests 3-7% of all energy goes to radiation in the panchromatic (photographic) pass band.


Initial results:

Brown P., Edwards W.N., ReVelle D.O. and Spurny P. (2007) Acoustic analysis of shock production by very high altitude meteors–I: infrasonic observations, dynamics and luminosity, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 69, 600-620.


Large Meteoroid Influx Rate from Historical Infrasound Observations

Purpose: Estimate the influx rate of meter-sized objects to the Earth using infrasound detections.



Silber, E. A., D. O. ReVelle, P. G. Brown, and W. N. Edwards (2009), An estimate of the terrestrial influx of large meteoroids from infrasonic measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 114, E08006, doi:10.1029/2009JE003334

Revelle, D.O., Sukara, E.A., Edwards, W.N. and Brown, P.G. (2008) Reanalysis of the Historic AFTAC Bolide Infrasound Database, Volume 102, Issue 1-4, pp. 337-344

Seismo-Acoustic Coupling of Airwaves from Meteors and Hypersonic Re-entries

Purpose: Examine the theory of seismo-acoustic coupling for meteors and from other hypersonic sources, such as the Stardust re-entry. Compare observations to theory. Is it possible to estimate meteor source energy from seismic data alone of acoustically coupled airwaves?




Edwards W.N., Eaton D.W., Brown P.G. (2009). Seismic Observations of Meteors: Coupling Theory and Observations, Reviews of Geophysics. 46, doi:10.1029/2007RG000253, 21 pp


Edwards W.N., Eaton D.W., McCausland P.J., ReVelle D.O., Brown P.G. (2008) Calibrating infrasonic to seismic coupling using the Stardust sample return capsule shockwave: Implications for seismic observations of meteors, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, 10306.


D.O. ReVelle & W.N. Edwards (2007) Stardust—An artificial, low-velocity "meteor" fall and recovery: 15 January 2006, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 42, 271-299


Infrasound studies of individual bolide events

Purpose:Measure and analyse infrasound from specific large bolide events and study in the context of other data (satellite information, meteorite fall etc) as one aspect of a broader analysis of each event.



Jenniskens, P., Shaddad, M.H., Numan, D., Elsir, S., Kudoda, A.M., Zolensky, M.E., Robinson, G.A., Friedrich, J.M., Rumble, D., Steele, A., Chesley, S.R., Fitzsimmons, A., Duddy, S., Hsieh, H.H., Ramsay, G., Brown, P., Edwards, W.N. and 17 additional co-authors (2009) The impact and recovery of asteroid 2008 TC3, Nature, 458, 485-488

Brown P., ReVelle D.O., Silber E.A., Edwards W.N., Arrowsmith S., Jackson L.E., Tancredi G., & Eaton D. (2008) Analysis of a crater-forming meteorite impact in Peru, Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets), 113, 9007-9020

Arrowsmith, D.J., Drob, D.P., Hedlin, M., Edwards, W.N. (2007) A joint seismic and acoustic study of the Washington State bolide: Observations and modeling, Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 112, doi 10.1029/2006JD008001

Klekociuk A.R., Brown P.G., Pack D.W., ReVelle D.O., Edwards W.N., Spalding R.E., Tagliaferri E., Yoo B.B., Zagari J. (2005) Meteoritic dust from the atmospheric disintegration of a large meteoroid, Nature, 436, 1132-1135.

Llorca J., Trigo-Rodríguez J.M., Ortiz J.L., Docobo J.A., García-Guinea J., Castro-Tirado A.J., Rubin A.E., Eugster O., Edwards W., Laubenstein M., Casanova I., 2005. The Villabeto de la Pena meteorite fall: I. Fireball energy, meteorite recovery, strewn field, and petrography, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 40: 795-804

Llorca J., Trigo-Rodríguez J.M., Ortiz J.L., Docobo J.A., García-Guinea J., Castro-Tirado A.J., Rubin A.E., Eugster O., Edwards W., Laubenstein M., Casanova I., 2005. The Villabeto de la Pena meteorite fall: I. Fireball energy, meteorite recovery, strewn field, and petrography, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 40: 795-804.

Brown P.G., Pack D., Edwards W.N., Revelle D.O., Yoo B.B., Spalding R.E. and Tagliaferri E. (2004) The Orbit, Atmospheric Dynamics and Initial Mass of the Park Forest Meteorites, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 39, 1781-1796.

Revelle D.O., Brown P.G. and Spurny P. (2004) Entry Dynamics and Acoustics / Infrasonic / Seismic analysis for the Neuschwanstein Meteorite Fall, Meteoritics and Planetary Science 39, 1605-1625.

Brown P.G, Kalenda P., Revelle D.O. and Borovicka J. (2003) The Moravka meteorite fall: 2. Interpretation of infrasonic and seismic data, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 38, 989-1003.

Brown P., Revelle D.O., Whitaker R. and Tagliaferri E. (2002) Multi-station infrasonic observations of two large bolides: Signal interpretation and implications for monitoring of atmospheric explosions. Geophysical Research Letters 29 (13): 1-4.

Brown P., Revelle D.O., Tagliaferri E. and Hildebrand A. (2002) An entry model for the Tagish Lake fireball using satellite and infrasound records. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 37(5): 661-675.