User login


PICASSO - Program to Investigate Convective Alboran Sea System Overturn

"PICASSO  consists of a multidisciplinary international investigation of the Alboran Sea, Gibraltar arc, Atlas Mountains and surrounding areas in the western Mediterranean using passive and active seismology, magnetotellurics, geochemistry/petrology/structural geology, and geodynamic modeling. The project was selected as the pilot experiment for TopoEurope, an EarthScope-like initiative recently approved by the European Science Foundation. The U.S. PICASSO investigators are from Rice (Lee, Levander), the University of Oregon (Humphreys), U.C. San Diego (Seber), WHOI (Chave, Evans), and the University of Southern California (Becker, Platt)". (From Original Proposal)

After a pilot deployment of 5 stations in the South of Spain that have beed susssesfully collecting data since April 14th 2009  a group of graduate students from University of Oregon and 2 staff from IRIS PASSCAL started the  deployment of a set of 37 broadband stations under the leadership of Pat Ryan, a senior research assistant at the University of Oregon. Pat Ryan and University of Oregon students Lelan O'Driscoll  & Amberlee Darold are experience PASSCAL users having recently completed USArray Flexible Array experiments Wallowa and FAME.

Summary of field season April 6th - 29th

Broadband instrumentation installed in southern Spain consisted of STS2, and GURALP CMG3T AND CM3ESP sensors using Q330 Dataloggers.

Installed stations: 37 total. Serviced stations immediately after deployment: 14. The Map below shows the location of the PICASSO stations installed in Spain and  Morocco during this field season. The Morocco stations were deployed by Lelan and a Moroccan team.

SPAIN Installation Teams:

Team 1: Amberlee Darold (University of Oregon), Alba Gil (University of Barcelona) , Shane Ingate (IRIS/PASSCAL)

Team2: Lelan O'Drisccoll (University of Oregon), Jorge Vallejo (Spain collaborator), Eliana Arias-Dotson (IRIS/PASSCAL)

Network code and Duration of the experiment (Please click map for station location) : XB 2010-2013

Gallery Pictures

Huddle Test

Pat Ryan all smiles -storing and organizing

equipment and boxes

Getting it all together: datalogger, baler,cables,battery,sensor, and gps antena.

Part of the Team (left to right) Alba, Pat, Lelan, Amberlee, Shane, and Eliana

Huddle Test at the ROA Station- all 40 stations tested to ensure they survived overseas shipping.



Below is a sequence of pictures that highlights the installation of a practice station, during which all of the team members participate and practice steps to follow during actual field installations.  Installation time per station varied from a couple of hours (when using fast cement) to 6 hours (under really bad weather conditions).  Recommendations made by PASSCAL for broadband vault construction were followed and modified based on site specific conditoins. After the stations were installed, teams revisitied 14 stations for an initial service and evaluation of station performance.  This initial service indicated great performance of the instrumentation and good data quality.

Setting the Vault

1) Initial setting of electronics - Action Packer box (24 x 19 x 17 inches), containing: battery, Q330+Baler, power box, gps, cables & break out box (sts2 sensor)

2) Sensor vault: Site for the sensor (~1.5 m deep) with base of cement to make leveling easier. 3) Pat applies some cement to the bottom of the sensor vault to prevent unfilled spaces. 4) After setting the vault box on the site, Pat makes sure the vault is level before final drying 5) Once the cement is dried, the area surrounding the vault is filled with local material and packed. Inside the vault a thin layer of dry sand is poured, for other stations the sand was replaced by fast cement. 6) A tile is set up on the vault, and Pat marks N/S orientation to help when sensor is installed. Tile must be leveled.
7) Solar Pannel has been set up and cables are protected by passing them by a blue host. Cables are tied to Solar pannels to prevent possible damages (weather,water, rain, animals,people,etc) 8) Pre-setting: Solar pannel oriented and package box at a reasonable distance from Sensor vault. 9) Sensor Installation: The sensor was packed in a plastic box before installing in the vault. Pat and Leland make sure sensor is properly oriented, leveled. Once that's done, dry sand was added to the vault to filled up spaces and have fully packed the vault. 10) Temporary closing vault for stabilization of the sensor and work with electronics, work on final details for cabling and final setting. 11) After successful stomp test and check on stable  mass positions, final closing of the sensor vault. Covered with local material (dirt, plastic bags,rocks) to help prevent overheating and other factors that can affect quality of station. 12) Packer box is organized inside, enclosed and locked. Insulation paint is sprayed on the top of the lid and contact information in the country in case of any event.
13) Fencing to protect the station, although these stations are in fairly secure and quite sites, prevention measurements are taken.   14) Site picture  

15) The "girls" in the group (right to left), Alba Gil, Amberlee Darold & Eliana

16) One more group picture, now is Jorge's time to be in the picture (far left), Shane is taking the picture