Thread: Planned Magnetotelluric Facility at IRIS-PASSCAL and AGU SIG Meeting

Started: 2018-10-19 00:05:46
Last activity: 2018-10-19 00:05:46
Under its new cooperative agreement with the National Science
Foundation, IRIS will establish a pool of portable magnetotelluric (MT)
systems at the PASSCAL Instrument Center (PIC, in Socorro, New Mexico. This effort aims
to make crust and lithosphere-scale MT capabilities widely available to
PIs by procuring a pool of modern instruments and providing
comprehensive support at no cost. By utilizing the resources of the PIC,
the facility will increase opportunities for experiments by non-expert
users and encourage combined studies using both seismic and
magnetotelluric instruments. For EarthScope, IRIS and Oregon State
University partnered to operate a pool of long-period MT systems used
for community surveying and a limited number of PI experiments. That
existing capacity will form the basis of support for funded
investigators during an interim period lasting until mid-2020. By early
2019, the PIC’s experiment scheduling request webpage will include the
option to reserve up to 20 of the existing long-period NIMS systems and
request a letter of support. Separately, Oregon State will continue to
operate its facility, which offers a separate pool of wideband and
long-period instruments to PIs using a cost recovery system.

The new PASSCAL MT facility is outlined in the NGEO proposal
( and will
be established over the next several years with community oversight from
the PASSCAL Standing Committee and Electromagnetic Advisory Committee
(EMAC). Activities during this time will include the testing and
evaluation of new long-period and/or wideband MT systems (fluxgate
and/or induction coil magnetometers, dataloggers, and electrodes),
identifying and/or creating software resources for data handling,
establishing training programs for PIs, and building of storage and
maintenance facilities. We invite members of the magnetotelluric and
seismological communities to contact the EMAC Chair (Rob Evans) and IRIS
management (Andy Frassetto, Kent Anderson, and Bob Woodward) if they
have any questions about this program. The EMAC will oversee technical
discussions related to both instrumentation and software, and members of
the community who are interested in serving in MT program governance
should contact Andy.

For those interested in learning more, IRIS and the EMAC will hold a
Special Interest Group meeting during the AGU meeting in Washington, DC
at 12:30 PM on Wednesday, December 12 at the Renaissance Washington, DC
Downtown Hotel. Here, we will review the vision for the facility,
provide a status update, and be available to receive feedback and
discuss these plans in a public forum. You may RSVP by replying to this
email. Details on the SIG will be available in early December.

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