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Mechanisms that produce seismic and acoustic wavefields near rivers are poorly understood because of a lack of observations relating temporally dependent river conditions to the near-river seismoacoustic fields. This controlled study at the Harry W. Morrison Dam (HWMD) on the Boise River, Idaho, explores how temporal variation in fluvial systems affects surrounding acoustic and seismic fields. Adjusting the configuration of the HWMD changed the river bathymetry and therefore the form of the standing wave below the dam. The HWMD was adjusted to generate four distinct wave regimes that were parameterized through their dimensionless Froude numbers (Fr) and observations of the ambient seismic and acoustic wavefields at the study site. To generate detectable and coherent signals, a standing wave must exceed a threshold Fr value of 1.7, where a nonbreaking undular jump turns into a breaking weak hydraulic jump. Hydrodynamic processes may partially control the spectral content of the seismic and acoustic energies. Furthermore, spectra related to reproducible wave conditions can be used to calibrate and verify fluvial seismic and acoustic models.

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This document was originally published in Geophysical Research Letters by Wiley on behalf of the American Geophysical Union. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1002/2017GL074511