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Seismometer installation

Canyonlands National Park » Seismometer installation » Document List

The park has been asked to support this nation- and worldwide study by allowing installation of a seismic recording station in the park. The data collected in this study will allow the researchers to image the earth's interior and produce new insights into the earthquake process. The National Park Service Geologic Resource Division has encouraged parks on the established sample point grid to participate if possible.

EarthScope is installing a dense array of seismometers across the continental United States and Alaska. The seismometers will record local, regional, and teleseimic earthquakes to produce high-resolution images of the Earth's interior from the crust to the core and to study the origin and characteristics of earthquakes and earthquake faults. Earth Scope scientists will integrate these images with a diversity of geological data to address unresolved issues of the continental structure, evolution, and dynamics.

The seismometer station needs to be located in an area free of vibration. There are two to three parts to a seismic station: a seismometer vault, solar panel, and sometimes a freestanding communications module. The seismometer vault is a cylindrical tank that is approximately 3 feet wide and 6 feet deep with a concrete pad at the bottom. The tank is mostly buried, with less than a foot of it above ground. The tank encloses the batteries, data system, GPS receiver, communications equipment, and other electronics. A solar panel and communications antenna are attached to a metal mast and installed within 15 feet of the seismometer vault. The entire footprint is 6 ft by 15 ft. Existing vegetation is preserved and disturbance is minimal. If a separate satellite communications module is needed, a 3 foot dish and an enclosure with electronics is located near a source of AC power- linked by radio to the seismic station.

The project manager stated that the team would like to install this system on a previously disturbed site near or in a developed area of the park. The area we are proposing is the old maintenance boneyard near the Willow Flat Campground at Island in the Sky. The installation will be out of the public's view, use solar power, and the in-ground installation will disturb an area previously impacted by administrative use of the site. Note that the team will probably have to use two 3 foot sections of culvert rather than one 6 foot section as normally used due to soil depth (or lack thereof) at the boneyard. A solar panel and antenna will be required to be placed away from the canyon rim to reduce its visibility. The instruments will stay in place 2- 3 years and will be removed by the researchers.

Contact Information

Dave Wood 435-719-2133