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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

Magnetotelluric Systems at PASSCAL

Magnetotelluric (MT) methods are used to produce conductivity models of the crust and upper mantle through the recording of geoelectric and geomagnetic field variations at the Earth's surface. Depending on the period of the recordings, these methods can provide results from a few hundred meters depth (short period) to 30 km or deeper (long period). Conductivity is a physical property, which is complementary to seismic velocity, and which is very sensitive to the presence of fluids. When seismic and MT data sets are measured together, the additional data can dramatically improve determinations of the structure of the crust and mantle.  

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