So Cal's Seismo Stimulus
A major upgrade is under way at the Southern California Seismic Network, jointly operated by Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey. The $3.2 million project is part of an overhaul of all of the USGS’s networks that is being funded by federal stimulus money for infrastructure improvements.
Locally, this means new equipment at 138 out of some 300 monitoring stations, and minor upgrades at 40. The original units were deployed in the 1990s as part of the TERRAscope and TriNet projects. The off-the-shelf digitizers available nowadays are much more compact and draw less than a watt of power, says David Johnson, Caltech’s lead field installer, “which is really significant when we go solar at our sites.”
Besides making fundamental improvements to the network’s data quality and reliability, “the new equipment will log data fast enough to allow us to develop algorithms for an early warning system,” says Senior Research Associate in Geophysics Egill Hauksson, who is in charge of Caltech’s end of the project. However, he notes, an actual warning system would require many additional stations and remains years away.
The current project, which started last October, will be finished in September 2011. —DS