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"White Wanderer" Exhibit in Chicago joins Seismology and Art

An exhibit sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council has combined the work of University of Chicago seismological scientist Doug MacAyeal of with the art of Luftwerk, to produce an artistic rendition of the seismic "sounds" produced by climate change in the Antarctic. The exhibit opened with a live demonstration of seismic data acquisition, using instruments provided by IRIS/PASSCAL. The project was a collaboration with NRDC, with additional help from the University of Chicago, and was on display at Two Riverside Plaza, Chicago IL from Sept 7th – Oct 1st. 

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PASSCAL Scientist Describes Working in Antarctica for Enthusiastic Library Audience

On June 23, 2014, PASSCAL Senior Staff Scientist/Polar Project Field Engineer Dean Childs gave a talk on "Working in Antarctica" to an absorbed audience at the Socorro Public Library.

Dean's talk ran 1 hour and 45 minutes, including a followup Q&A. He discussed several topics with the 25+ attendees, who ranged in age from 7 to 70.

Transantarctic Mountains Deployments


Audrey Huerta, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at Central Washington University, has graciously provided some videos of recent installations and deployments in the Transantarctic Mountains. They include footage of using a chain saw to deploy solar panels in the ice, a time lapse of a polar seismic system installation, and thermochronology sampling while rappelling.

(Photograph courtesy NSF)

SEIS-UK joins IRIS/PASSCAL on Support Effort for Antarctic Projects



SEIS-UK Director Dr. Alex Brisbourne accompanies the staff of the PASSCAL Instrument Center  to gain experience working in polar environments while supporting the POLENET and Whillans Ice Sheet projects for a month and a half during this year's field season.

Electrical Diagrams

Power Management Module (PMM):  Enclosure containing the charge controller and power switcher.
Short battery harness:  Connects battery to multiple battery harness or other load cable.
Short 5-pin/3 battery:  Connects primary and rechargeable batteries to PMM.
Battery harness connects 2:  Connects 2 rechargeable batteries together.
Battery harness connects 10:  Connects 10 primary battery packs together.
Battery harness connects 8:  Connects 8 rechargeable batteries together.

Mt. Erebus Volcano Observatory (MEVO) Experiment 2008-2009

Brian Bonnett installs a MEVO station.

The PASSCAL Polar Program supported MEVO experiment was a seismic refraction experiment designed to image the magma chamber of the Mt. Erebus volcano in Antarctica. The Principle Investigators (PI's) and primary researchers involved with this experiment were Dr. Phillip Kyle, Dr. Richard Aster, Dr. Catherine Snelson, Dr. Daria Zandomeneghi and Hunter Knox. The project was funded through a grant awarded to the PI's by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs. A paper that discusses this experiment has been published in EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union entitled: “Seismic Tomography of Erebus Volcano, Antarctica” authored by Zandomeneghi et al. (See the end of the article for details.)

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The Polar Earth Observing Network (POLENET) is a large international, multidisciplinary project which is a core activity of the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2009.  The project combines Seismic and GPS instrumentation at remote sites in Antarctica.  The data collected during the POLENET experiment will enable new studies of the inner earth, tectonic plates, climate, and weather.  U.S. POLENET projects are supported by the National Science Foundation. PASSCAL supports the U.S. seismic portion of POLENET by providing specialized cold-hardened, equipment, field support, and training for University based field teams.

Polar Project Sample Deployments

Here are articles on several recent Polar Project Deployments: Polenet Mevo

Polar Posters and Presentations

Polar Posters and Presentations


Polar Technology Conference, 2016

Download Presentation: 6.2MB Polar Technology Conference, 2015

Download Presentation: 3.5MB McMurdo Science Talk, 2015-16

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Polar Programs


PASSCAL currently supports approximately 60 experiments per year worldwide, with 5-10% currently funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP). Polar projects commonly require a level of support that is several times that of seismic experiments in less demanding environments inclusive of very remote deployments (e.g. Tibet). In order to ensure OPP funded Antarctic projects the highest level of success, we have established a PASSCAL Polar Program and have secured funds from OPP to support new and ongoing experiments in Antarctica.

The primary focus of PASSCAL’s Polar support efforts are:

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