UUSS 2012 Annual Report

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UUSS Annual Report 2012

It is my pleasure to present the 2012 Annual Report of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS).

Working with state and federal partners, we monitor seismicity in much of the Intermountain West, we carry out fundamental academic research on earthquakes, and we educate and inform the public about the risk from earthquakes. I hope that this inaugural annual report provides an informative update on our recent progress in these areas.

The operational highlight of 2012 was the installation of a state of-the-art software package developed by the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS). ANSS Quake Monitoring System (AQMS) will provide UUSS new flexibility in detecting, locating, and publicizing earthquakes. A close second was the development of an in-house database containing all digital UUSS broadband and short-period seismic data recorded since 2001.

In 2012 UUSS scientists published academic papers on a diverse range of topics that included a new catalog of moment tensors for Utah earthquakes; modeling of infra sound recordings of the 2011 Circleville, Utah earthquake; simulations of ground motion in Utah expected for an M7 earthquake along the Wasatch fault; and the inference of short-period rupture properties of three recent great earthquakes in Peru, Chile, and the Indian Ocean.

On a rainy day in April 2012, UUSS also participated in the first ever Great Utah ShakeOut to help raise awareness of earthquake hazard in Utah. And the UUSS traveling earthquake exhibit visited over 50 schools throughout the state.  Although the next year looks to be a challenging environment in terms of funding, I am confident that the hardworking students, faculty, and staff of UUSS will maintain operational and academic excellence. A few of the exciting things to look forward to in 2013 include:

  • Starting February 1, 2013, UUSS will begin a new 3 year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for monitoring and characterizing earthquakes in the Yellowstone region, one of the most geologically dynamic places in the world and a site of previous supervolcano eruptions.
    Professor Emeritus Robert B. Smith will be retiring from his role as the principal investigator of this project after three decades, but will continue to be involved with the UUSS Yellowstone work.
  • On April 17-19, 2013, UUSS will welcome the annual meeting of Seismological Society of America to Salt Lake City. This is the world’s most prestigious professional society dedicated to earthquake science.
  • Christine Gammans, first recipient of the UUSS graduate fellowship honoring Director Emeritus Walter J. Arabasz, will graduate with an master’s degree in geophysics and begin her career with Chevron in August.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the founding of UUSS, we are mindful of many whose contributions have laid a solid foundation for the Seismograph Stations. We look forward to adding to that legacy in the year ahead.