In recent years, fibre optic sensing technologies have become more and more important in geoscientific applications. Not only point sensors, but also distributed sensors are gaining an increased attention. New development of point sensors using fibre-optic technologies like SWIFTS technology or other high performance laser sources allow measurement of physical characteristics with increased accuracy and at cheaper cost, e.g., temperature, pressure, strain or chemical concentration.
Distributed Fibre Sensing (DFS) is also an active research field gaining increased attention in terms of both rapidly advancing technological development and geophysical applications. The well established Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) applications as well as novel Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), Distributed Pressure Sensing (DPS), Distributed Strain Sensing (DSS) technologies have the potential to revolutionize geoscientific data acquisition, by allowing for a very dense temporal and spatial resolution allowing for unprecedented insights into subsurface processes.
Fibre-optic cables are used either in boreholes and more recently at the surface allowing the measurement of ground motion and physical properties with high sampling in time and space. Applications range from basic research in e.g., hydrology, seismology and volcanology to applied research in subsurface utilization as well as hazard monitoring.