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Here are some of the articles that have been recently posted to the PASSCAL website:

IRIS/PASSCAL Celebrates Career of Jim Fowler

Jim Fowler started as IRIS Chief Engineer in 1984, and became the founding manager for the PASSCAL program.  In 1999, he relocated from Washington D.C. back to his home state of New Mexico, and set up an office in the PASSCAL Instrument Center.  As a news article from New Mexico Tech noted,

"My wife, Cynthia, and I are originally from New Mexico, so it really wasn't as difficult for us to move here as it might have been for someone who's a hardcore 'Easterner,'" Fowler says.

"Since most of my work involved the Instrument Center, it seemed best for all concerns if my office was actually located at the Instrument Center," Fowler points out. "Basically, instead of living in Washington and commuting to New Mexico, I now live in New Mexico and commute to Washington."

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APOS Report Now Available Online

The report of the Autonomous Polar Observing Systems Workshop (APOS) has been posted online at IRIS, and can be downloaded (2 MB PDF, 32 pages).  Several IRIS and PASSCAL staff participated in this workshop and contributed to the report.

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Western Idaho Shear Zone: is snow in the forecast?

FlexArray Experiment: Western Idaho Shear Zone

If this photo (below) of a 6' 1" tall individual looking up at the top of the solar panel mast doesn't cause one to wonder how much snow the mountains near Cornucopia, Oregon receive, a Snow Cat (below left) at a nearby lodge certain makes it's clear - lots of it. This temporary seismic station installed in the mountains of eastern Oregon is part of Dr. Ray Russo's Western Idaho Shear Zone Earthscope Flexible Array experiment. Spanning eastern Oregon to eastern Idaho, the seismic network covers arguably some of the most remote and rugged mountains of the contiguous United States.

AGAP Project Reveals Details of Hidden Antarctic Mountain Range

 

PASSCAL's Polar Group supported AGAP deployments in one of the most extreme polar environments on the planet.

Results are now emerging from the AGAP Project, funded by the National Science Foundation through its Office of Polar Programs. AGAP, which stands for Antarctica's Gamburtsev Province, has been probing the Gamburtsev mountain range for years. These mountains, completely covered by Antarctic ice, were not even discovered until 1958. New data now coming out are showing that these mountains have a youthful topography much like that of the Alps in Europe, and have not been weathered significantly.  Furthermore, the history of the root of the range can now be tracked back to one billion years in the past, with major rejuvenation events in the Permian and Cretaceous periods (~250 and 100 million years ago respectively). One reason the Gamburtsev range is important is that it is believed to be the initial site of Antarctic ice-sheet growth during major climatic changes some 35 million years ago.

Researchers Andy Nyblade of Penn State and Douglas Wiens and Patrick Shore of Washington University in St. Louis are part of the seismic portion of the project, called GamSeis. The IRIS/PASSCAL Instrument Center provided an array of broadband seismic stations used for the project by Wiens and Shore, along with Penn State's Nyblade, and Masaki Kanao of the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR).

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PASSCAL's Polar Group Revs Up for Antarctic Summer

This is the time of year when the Polar group at PASSCAL is busy deploying teams to the Antarctic. Since polar conditions make for difficult site installations, PASSCAL is pleased to present the following instructive videos of Antarctic station deployments.

Courtesy of Audrey Huerta of Central Washington University, here is a time-lapse video of the difficult installation of a POLENET seismic system on a rock surface at Miller Ridge in the Transantarctic Mountains. This installation took about 4 hours in real-time. You will see shadows encroaching as the sun sets toward the end of the four-minute video.

Seismic Community Responds to Virginia Earthquake in a Big Way

When the earth shook near Richmond, Virginia on August 23, 2011 at 1:51 PM EDT (17:51:04 UTC), millions of inhabitants of the eastern seaboard were surprised by the magnitude 5.8 tremor. The seismic community has responded in force, rapidly deploying dozens of new stations to record aftershocks of this rare event. (The largest previous earthquake in Virginia's history was a magnitude 5.9 event in 1897.)

This  image, provided by the National Park Service, is one of three or four "significant" new cracks in the Washington Monument. The picture was taken from a Park Service helicopter. The Monument is being closed to the public indefinitely.

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2011 Seismic Instrumentation Technology Symposium Presentations Available On-Line

The 2011 Seismic Instrumentation Technology Symposium was held at Albuquerque Marriott on June 16 - June 17, 2011. This was the second joint Seismology/Earthquake Engineering/DOD symposium on seismic instrumentation technology.  The symposium theme was exploration of emerging instrumentation technologies providing solutions for key technical challenges in observational seismology. Symposium presentations highlighted operator perspectives on these challenges, as well as on emerging technologies in the thematic areas of communications, power, and timing. The symposium focused on creating and facilitating a dialog between academia, industry, and others.

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PASSCAL Obtains New Automated Seismic Source

PASSCAL has purchased its first fully automated seismic source, a Propelled Energy Generator, model: PEG-40Kg manufactured by R.T. Clark Companies, Inc. The system is light weight, and highly portable, and is designed to easily mount onto a truck or SUV hitch. Seismic energy is produced when  a large hammer mass weight is propelled by an elastomer band (i.e. a very large rubber band) onto an impact plate, producing an impact frequency range of 10-250Hz. The source is controlled with a hand held motor controller,  and can operate in single cycle or continuous cycle mode. The device is powered by a 12V large capacity battery (car battery).  The PEG-40Kg was received, assembled, and field-tested by  PASSCAL staff on June 23rd-28th, 2011.

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IRIS/PASSCAL Intern Cuts Her Teeth on TESGM Project Fieldwork

IRIS/PASSCAL summer intern Jennifer Tarnowski is learning the ropes of a seismology career by working at the PASSCAL Instrument Center at New Mexico Tech, and also by participating with hands-on efforts in the field.  Jennifer recently participated in fieldwork supporting the Topographic Effects in Strong Ground Motion project (TESGM, PASSCAL project 201109) in early July, along with principal investigators Brady Cox,  University of Arkansas, Adrian Rodriguez-Marek, Virginia Tech., graduate student Clinton Wood, University of Arkansas, Robert Kent of the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and Steve Azevedo, IRIS/PASSCAL.