About Us

Our Mission

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS) is a research, educational, and public-service entity within the University’s Department of Geology and Geophysics. UUSS operates a regional and urban seismic network of more than 200 stations serving the populations of Utah, eastern Idaho, and western Wyoming.

The first and foremost mission of UUSS is academic research. At the same time – because of its special facilities and expertise – UUSS carries a major burden to meet the needs and expectations of a host of users in Utah and the Intermountain region for earthquake information.

We work to understand earthquakes. (Our unique job is to gain a better scientific understanding of earthquakes in our region through seismological research.)

We educate and inform. (We’re part of the academic mainstream of the University of Utah and we share its institutional goals. We also have a fundamental responsibility, arising from our facilities, to be energetic “producers” of earthquake information.)

We serve. (Our profession and public funding give us the duty to help public officials and the general public deal with the threat of earthquakes.)

As a participant in the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS), the University of Utah Seismograph Stations shares and helps pursue the nationwide mission of ANSS in Utah and the Intermountain West: 

Mission and Goals of ANSS

The mission of ANSS is to provide accurate and timely data and information products for seismic events, including their effects on buildings and structures, employing modern monitoring methods and technologies.

This mission serves a basic function of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, and drives the four basic goals of the planned system:

  • Establish and maintain an advanced infrastructure for seismic monitoring throughout the United States that operates with high performance standards, gathers critical technical data, and effectively provides information products and services to meet the Nation’s needs. An Advanced National Seismic System should consist of modern seismographs, communication networks, data processing centers, and well-trained personnel; such an integrated system would constantly record and analyze seismic data and provide timely and reliable information on earthquakes and other seismic disturbances.
  • Continuously monitor earthquakes and other seismic disturbances throughout the United States, including earthquakes that may cause a tsunami or precede a volcanic eruption, with special focus on regions of moderate to high hazard and risk.
  • Thoroughly measure strong earthquake shaking at ground sites and in buildings and critical structures. Focus should be in urban areas and near major active fault zones to gather greatly needed data and information for reducing earthquake impacts on buildings and structures.
  • Automatically broadcast information when a significant earthquake occurs, for immediate assessment of its impact. Where feasible, for sites at distance from the epicenter, broadcast an early warning seconds before strong shaking arrives. Provide similar capabilities for automated warning and alert for tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.