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About PASSCAL

PASSCAL Facility

The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Portable Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (PASSCAL) Instrument Center and EarthScope USArray Array Operations Facility (AOF) at New Mexico Tech support cutting-edge seismological research into Earth’s fundamental geological structure and processes. The facility provides instrumentation for National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and otherwise funded seismological experiments around the world. PASSCAL experiment support includes seismic instrumentation, equipment maintenance, software, data archiving, training, logistics, and field installation.

Continued expansion of IRIS activities at New Mexico Tech via the EarthScope and other initiatives has spurred a major facility expansion, the EarthScope USArray Array Operations Facility. The AOF was officially dedicated on April 6, 2005 by the New Mexico Tech administration and the IRIS Board of Directors. The combined PASSCAL Instrument Center and AOF currently support a total of 33 professional New Mexico Tech staff, as well as a contingent of student workers.

PASSCAL and USArray Flexible Array equipment is available to any research or educational institution to use for research purposes within the guidelines of established policies. These policies provide that data collected with PASSCAL and/or USArray equipment be archived at the IRIS Data Management Center and that the data are openly available to the community. Instruments can be requested online using the PASSCAL Instrument Request Forms.

Recent News

The GeoGirls Program in the News

The GeoGirls program is getting some great publicity, thanks to the efforts of the USGS, The Mt. St. Helens Institute, and even comedienne Amy Poehler.

Employment Opportunity at IRIS PASSCAL: Staff Scientist/ Hardware Engineer

The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology Program for Array Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (IRIS PASSCAL) Instrument Center (www.passcal.nmt.edu) at New Mexico Tech is seeking applicants to fill the position of Staff Scientist / Hardware Engineer.

 

Ensemble Cast Supports Socorro Magma Body Experiment

During February 2015, PASSCAL staff assisted Principal Investigators Sue Bilek, Rick Aster, Brandon Schmandt, and Lindsay Worthington with the installation of numerous single-channel nodes in conjunction with seven PASSCAL broadband stations (data) to image the Socorro Magma Body (SMB) beneath the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico. 

RT130 ALERT - Issue when using two 4GB CF cards

Jan. 5, 2015

PASSCAL recently received reports of RT130’s failing when using two RefTek 4G CF cards at moderately low temperatures during an Antarctic experiment. We have duplicated the failure in our lab and in our testing the failure was associated with a specific version of RefTek well board (RT526D). Although we have not had failures in our testing with earlier or later versions of the board, our sample set is small and we cannot rule out problems with these boards when using two 4G CF cards. We have communicated with RefTek about the issue and at this time they are in agreement with these findings.

Conviction of Italian Seismologists Overturned in Appeal

Angus Mackinnon of phys.org reported on November 10th, 2014 that

"Seven Italian scientists who faced jail for failing to predict a deadly 2009 earthquake were cleared Monday of manslaughter convictions that had sparked international outrage.

The seven men were sentenced to six years in jail in October 2012 after a court in the medieval town of L'Aquila found them guilty of causing multiple deaths by having negligently downplayed the risk of the town being hit by a major earthquake just days before the killer tremor struck in April 2009."

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