With help from two CGS employees, Kyren Bogolub, graduate student (in seismology) at the University of Colorado and Lauren Broes, geologist, the geophysics students installed a broadband sensor behind the GRL Annex building on campus as a temporary seismic station.
In addition to monitoring and listening to ambient noise including local construction work, the class hopes to record regional and distant earthquakes from around the globe. Over the next few weeks, the class will analyze the data, characterize the recorded signals, and report their observations.
The instrumentation—a Guralp CMG-3T sensor (seismometer) connected to a Suntek solar-panel/battery powered Reftek RT130 data-logger with geolocation provided via a Garmin GPS unit—was borrowed from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology Passcal division (Iris Passcal). A scientific research consortium of more than 120 U.S. universities, IRIS is widely responsible for the acquisition, management, and open-access distribution of seismic data from around the globe.
The Mines geophysics group is planning to collaborate further with the CGS to install a permanent station close to the Mines campus—preferably in a quieter area to increase the quality of earthquake and other environmental signals such as landslides. That station will provide a continuous and open-access seismic data stream through the IRIS system that will be available for both students and researchers: stay tuned!