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Wind turbines and their impact on seismic stations: A case study at different locations

Wind turbines and their impact on seismic stations: A case study at different locations



Toni Zieger


In this talk I will present results of wind turbine (WT) induced seismic signals at different locations
with their specific wave properties. The main goal of this work is the detection of influences from WTs on human health and buildings in an
interdisciplinary way. The interaction between WTs, humans, and infrastructure (incl. seismic stations) becomes
more and more an important role with the increase of installed WTs. A comparison of long-term seismic recordings
at different locations mostly in the southwestern part of Germany is discussed in detail.  I show averaged one
hour long PSD-spectra in a frequency range from 0.5 Hz to 10 Hz depending on the wind speed resp. rotation rate
before and after the installation of characteristic WTs during one month measurements. These PSD-spectra con-
tain discrete amplitude peaks which can be attributed to vibrations induced by the rotating blade and the swinging
tower. The resulting effect of an increasing seismic noise level can influence the detection threshold of a local seis-
mic station, especially for local seismicity with small magnitudes. The increased noise occurs even up to distances
of several kilometers to the WTs. Using short-term measurements close to WTs during few hours, I am able to determine the maximum of
the PSD values for different discrete frequency peaks as function of distance to the next WT.  A clear frequency dependent
decay can be observed, for which high frequencies are more attenuated than lower frequencies, probably due to
scattering processes. The results will help for a better understanding of WTs as a seismic noise source and their
interaction with nearby seismic stations and other infrastructure.