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About the EPIC

PASSCAL Facility

The EarthScope Primary Instrument Center (EPIC, formerly The IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center) at New Mexico Tech supports cutting-edge geophysical research in Earth system science. The primary mission of the EPIC is to support the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Geodetic- and Seismological- Facilities for the Advancement of Geoscience (GAGE and SAGE, respectively) and includes the support of portable/Principle Investigator-led instrumentation experiments as well as supporting several geophysical network operations centers. The GAGE and SAGE facilities are operated by EarthScope Consortium under a cooperative agreement with the NSF.

GAGE and SAGE provide instrumentation for NSF granted and other funded researchers (either from other US government agencies or independently funded) who require the use of instrumentation, engineering, logistics, data archiving, training and field installations and other resources to make their observations. 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 GAGE or SAGE equipment be archived by EarthScope and be made openly available to the entire community. SAGE Instruments can be requested online using the Instrument Request Forms while GAGE instruments are available using the Project Support Request form.

In addition, the EPIC supports geophysical network operations in global and regional scientific networks, including the Network of the Americas (NOTA), Global Seismographic Network (GSN), Global GNSS Network (GGN), Borehole strainmeter network (BSM), and polar network operations funded by the NSF Office of Polar Programs (OPP). Specialized engineering design information and details on the instrumentation are openly shared and available to the research community.

Recent News

SmartSolo archives flipped polarity (IGU-16HR 3C 5Hz)

Dear EarthScope Community and PASSCAL PIs:

In September of 2023 we discovered that SmartSolo node (IGU-16HR 3C, 5Hz) data archived from PASSCAL experiments has a non-standard polarity on the Z-channel relative to the down-positive industry geophone convention. Details of this discovery and the steps that will be taken to correct this discrepancy, which will affect the existing and future archives, are outlined below.


The expected polarity for data archived from PASSCAL experiments are as follow:

Broadband seismometer – Up (Z-dip = -90), North and East motion produce a positive polarity. Geophone – Down (Z-dip = +90), North and East motion produce a positive polarity

Data archived, both PH5 and SEED, prior to October 05, 2023 from PASSCAL experiments using the SmartSolo nodes have the following polarity and metadata mismatch: 

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.



Since 2019, the EPIC (formerly known as PASSCAL) has been developing MT resources to meet PIs needs. We currently have a wide pool of MT equipment including both long-period (LEMI) and wideband (Phoenix) systems.


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