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The Pulse in Peru



Ever wonder what it's like to support a seismic field experiment in Peru?  PASSCAL's Assistant Director, Mike Fort, recommends the Singular Subduction blog, written by Yale research assistant and English major, Laura Marris. Mike was in Peru as an advisor, trainer, and to offer general logistical support to the PULSE experiment.

IRIS/PASSCAL Instrument Center User Workshop, AGU San Francisco - 2010


IRIS/PASSCAL Instrument Center would like to invite you to register for our second annual PASSCAL Users Workshop to be held on December 12th 2010 (the day before the beginning of the AGU Fall meeting).  This year’s workshop will give an overview of the PASSCAL program, the services we provide and how to access them.  This workshop should be useful to anyone who has an upcoming PASSCAL supported experiment, or is planning to propose an experiment, but will be particularly useful to new investigators.

The morning session (8:00-12:00) will be formal presentations covering such topics as:

·      Field procedures 

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Passcalians Attend AGU Fall Meeting

The annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union is one of the largest and most interesting scientific conferences in the world. Some 15,000 scientists - from students to professional researchers, from small environmental analysis groups to huge government entities like NASA and NOAA - and a small troop from IRIS - gathered at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco for a week in mid-December 2009 to share their studies and recent results with each other, and with anyone curious enough to listen in.

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PASSCAL Student Employees

Just who are those energetic students padding the halls of IRIS/PASSCAL? Here are our student interns and emergency hires.




Mia Cordova

Warehouse Lab Tech




Tyler Davis

Warehouse Lab Tech

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August/September 2009 New Mexico Earthquake Swarm in the Central Rio Grande Rift

Courtesy Jana Pursley, NMT

Seismicity in central New Mexico, southwestern United States, is dominated by earthquakes occurring above the mid-crustal Socorro Magma Body (SMB). The SMB is a sill-like feature ≥ 3400 km2 in area, with a top surface at 19-km depth spanning the inner Rio Grande rift half-graben system. Inflation of the magma body at rates of several mm/year, perhaps coupled with shallow transport of aqueous fluids, is the prevailing model for the region’s long-standing and anomalous seismicity. Clustered swarms of small magnitude earthquakes have been noted since the 1860s throughout this region, and have been recorded instrumentally since the early 1960’s (Figure 1, blue squares, Sanford et al., 20021).

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Lodging Information

Links for hotel/motel, dining and travel options: 


Visit Socorro - Hotels and Lodging 

Trip Advisor

If you would like additional information or you require assistance in making arrangements, please feel free to contact our office at (575) 835-5070. Our business hours are M-F, 8:00am - 5:00pm MST.

Shipping Information

These articles discuss various aspects of shipping for PASSCAL experiments. Shipping for Experiments: Policy Shipping Best Practices Shipping Glossary Of Terms Shipping Estimate Form ("The Shipping Calculator")

For shipping questions, please contact Jackie Gonzales, via jackie [at] passcal [dot] nmt [dot] edu (e-mail), or at 575.835.5560

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Visiting PASSCAL


Visitors to the PASSCAL Instrument Center should have pre-arranged appointments. Visitors should enter through the main entrance of the building and register their visit in our “Visitor’s Log”. Unarranged or unannounced visits cannot be accommodated. Please contact respective staff or send an email to if you wish to arrange a visit.


The PASSCAL Instrument Center is located in Socorro, New Mexico, on the New Mexico Tech campus.

IRIS Committee Members: find travel tips, expense report forms, and more here.

Shipping for Experiments


The cost of shipping PASSCAL equipment to and from field experiments is the responsibility of the requesting institution. Accurate estimates of these shipping costs are important because they may constitute a significant portion of project budget.

Shipping costs incurred by the PASSCAL Instrument Center (PIC) are billed to the experiment through IRIS Headquarters. Please allow 2 months for receipt of this bill. If you have not received a bill by this time please contact IRIS.

To obtain accurate price quotes from shipping companies, you will need:

point of origin  final destination  projected pick up date projected delivery date total number of pallets (including an individual piece count) total weight

volume (l x w x h)

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  How long will it take? Training at the PASSCAL Instrument Center takes an average of 2 days to cover a typical experiment.    The first day involves an overview from the PI, a discussion of proposed logistics, introduction or review of project instrumentation and a practice site installation.  The second day covers station servicing and demobilization, the PASSCAL suite of software for data download and review, and introduction or review of PASSCAL preferred database and data archiving procedures. What can you expect from us?  Training on the hardware that PASSCAL Instrument Center will provide for your experiment.  This will include the Digitizer, Sensor(s), Handheld controllers, and Power Systems.
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