We analyze global microseism excitation patterns between July 2000 and June 2001. Seismological observations are compared with modeling results to isolate robust activity features of relevant source processes. First, we use observations of microseism source locations estimated by Landes et al. (2010) based on array processing of ambient noise correlations. Second, we construct synthetic activity patterns by coupling sea state estimates derived from wave action models to the excitation theory for microseisms. The overall spatiotemporal evolution of both estimates is characterized by a seasonal character that is associated with strong activity during winter months. The distribution of landmass causes seasonal changes on the Northern Hemisphere (NH) to exceed the variability on the Southern Hemisphere (SH). Our systematic comparison of the two estimates reveals significant microseism excitation along coastlines and in the open ocean. Since coastal reflections are not accounted for in the modeling approach, the consistent mismatch between near-coastal observations and predictions suggests that relevant microseism energy arriving at the networks is generated in these areas. Simultaneously, systematic coincidence away from coastlines verifies the open ocean generation hypothesis. These conclusions are universal and robust with respect to the seismic network locations on the NH. The spatially homogeneous resolution of our synthetics provides a valuable resource for the assessment of the global microseism weather. Similar to previously identified hot spot areas in the North Atlantic, the modeled distributions hypothesize regions of strong localized activity on the SH, which are only partially confirmed by the analyzed data sets.
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