UUSS invited to become a formal Member-Institution of the International Seismological Centre (ISC).

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS) is excited to announce it was recently invited to become a formal Member-Institution of the International Seismological Centre (ISC).

The ISC is a non-governmental, non-profit international organization which maintains extensive information about earthquakes and other seismic events from around the world. ISC members strive to collect, archive, and process seismic station and network bulletins and prepare and distribute the ISC bulletin – the definitive summary of the world’s seismicity.

Since its inception in the 1960s, the ISC has provided invaluable data used by thousands of seismologists worldwide. The current ISC mission is to maintain the ISC bulletin, the International Seismographic Station Registry, and the IASPEI Reference Event list. ISC also maintains several other important catalogs, contacts, and datasets.

The UUSS is honored to join the ISC. It joins 68 other research and operational organizations in 50 countries that support the ISC. Other ISC Members in the United States include NEIC/USGS, IRIS, and the TexNet of the University of Texas at Austin. The invitation to join comes as a great recognition of the important work of the UUSS on a national, and now international, scale.

UUSS is hiring a Postdoctoral Research Associate and a Research Scientist this fall.

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Earthquake Seismology.
The successful applicant will work with UUSS faculty, staff, and students on problems related to induced seismicity. UUSS has active projects related to enhanced geothermal development, mining induced seismicity, and discrimination of explosions from earthquakes. Potential research topics include (1) discrimination of tectonic earthquakes from induced earthquakes and non-earthquake sources, (2) estimation of full moment tensors for small-to-moderate seismic events, (3) estimation of fault parameters of micro-earthquakes, (4) detection and high-resolution multi-event relocation of induced seismic sequences. While primary datasets are available from regional seismic networks, in some cases supplemental data will be generated using the University of Utah pool of over 150 three-component, short-period (5 Hz) Nodal seismometers.
The position is renewable for a second year pending acceptable progress and availability of funding. Opportunities for teaching, mentoring, and outreach will be made available for those interested in pursuing an academic track.
In addition to research, the successful applicant will be expected to serve rotations as a UUSS duty seismologist (leading the initial UUSS response to events of interest), which will periodically require 24/7 availability via cell/pager.
To apply submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and contact information for three references using the following webpage: https://utah.peopleadmin.com/postings/80640. The nominal start date is January 1, 2019, although the actual start date is flexible. Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2018. Questions may be directed to UUSS Director Keith Koper (koper@seis.utah.edu) or UUSS Associate Director Kristine Pankow (pankow@seis.utah.edu).
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS, quake.utah.edu) invites applications for a full-time staff scientist position. UUSS operates a network of approximately 250 seismic stations (with a combination of broadband, strong-motion, and short-period sensors) and 3 infrasound arrays. Together with the Department of Geology and Geophysics, UUSS also maintains an inventory of 162 three-component, 5 Hz, Nodal geophones that can be used for special studies. In operations, UUSS runs the ANSS Quake Monitoring System (AQMS) and is responsible for generating earthquake catalogs and other earthquake information products for the regions around Utah and Yellowstone National Park, as well as providing information to local stakeholders. The successful applicant will (1) help sustain and improve UUSS operational capabilities for earthquake detection, location, and characterization in the Intermountain West, and (2) work with UUSS faculty, staff, and students on related research problems. Research topics of interest include earthquake detection and location, seismic hazard analysis, discrimination of seismic sources, imaging of shallow Earth structure, seismotectonics of the Intermountain West region, mining induced seismicity, and seismicity induced by geothermal energy development. The new hire will be required to serve rotations as a UUSS duty seismologist, which will periodically require 24/7 availability via cell/pager to carry out the initial UUSS response to events of interest. A Ph.D. in seismology or a closely related field is required at the time of appointment. Other requirements include proficiency in programming and scripting languages commonly used in modern seismology, and strong communication skills. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in network or field seismology and database management. To apply submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and contact information for three references using the following webpage: https://utah.peopleadmin.com/postings/81552. The nominal start date is January 1, 2019, although the actual start date is flexible. Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2018. Questions may be directed to UUSS Director Keith Koper (koper@seis.utah.edu) or UUSS Associate Director Kristine Pankow (pankow@seis.utah.edu).

Small Salt Lake City Earthquakes Felt and Heard

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that four minor earthquakes of magnitude (M) 0.7 to 1.0 have occurred in northeastern Salt Lake City during the last eight days.  The first two earthquakes occurred on Sunday, September 2, at 02:13 am (M 0.7) and 10:33 am (M 1.0) MDT.  They were followed by an M 1.0 shock on Thursday, September 6, at 8:43 pm MDT and an M 0.8 shock at 3:48 pm MDT on Saturday, September 8.  These four earthquakes occurred near the southeastern part of the University of Utah campus at shallow depths of less than 3.5 miles.

Residents of northeastern Salt Lake City have reported feeling and/or hearing these earthquakes, in some cases describing the noise as a loud boom.  Earthquakes, especially very shallow ones, can generate noises that sound like booms or thunder to those nearby.  The sound is generated by seismic waves vibrating the ground surface up and down like a loudspeaker.

Small magnitude seismic activity like the recent activity in northestern Salt Lake City is a common occurrence in the Wasatch Front region.   The location of this recent activity appears to be too far east for it to be occurring on the Wasatch fault.

Anyone who felt or heard any of these earthquakes is encouraged to fill out a survey form which is available on the US Geological Survey website at https://earthquake.usgs.gov/data/dyfi/ .

The 2013 Bingham Canyon landslide, moment by moment

In spring 2013, observation systems at Utah’s Bingham Canyon copper mine detected ground movement in a hillslope surrounding the mine’s open pit. Out of caution, mine managers evacuated personnel and shut down production, waiting for the inevitable.

 

On April 10, at 9:30 p.m. and again at 11:05 p.m., the slope gave way and thundered down into the pit, filling in part of what had been the largest man-made excavation in the world. Later analysis estimated that the landslide was at the time the largest non-volcanic slide in recorded North American history. Now, University of Utah geoscientists have revisited the slide with a combined analysis of aerial photos, computer modeling, and seismic data to pick apart the details. The total volume of rock that fell during the slide was 52 million cubic meters, they report, enough to cover Central Park with 50 feet of rock and dirt. The slide occurred in two main phases, but researchers used infrasound recordings and seismic data to discover 11 additional landslides that occurred between the two main events. Modeling and further seismic analysis revealed the average speeds at which the hillsides fell: 81 mph for the first main slide and 92 mph for the second, with peak speeds well over 150 mph.

 

The study shows how the team’s methods can be used to remotely characterize a landslide, and the details they elicited from the data may be useful in planning for and modeling future landslide events.

The results are published in Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface.

 

Animations of both phases of the slide can be found here:

http://geohazards.earth.utah.edu/images/S1_phase1Animation.mp4

http://geohazards.earth.utah.edu/images/S2_phase2Animation.mp4

UUSS and University of Utah Seismology at AGU 2016

AGU Fall Meeting 2016 (American Geophysical Union) presentations from UUSS and other University of Utah Seismologists.

Amir Allam

Jamie Farrell

Paul Geimer

Keith Koper

Guanning Pang

Kevin Ward

Sin-Mei Wu

Hao Zhang

 

Salt Lake City’s Fix the Bricks Program

Fix the Bricks is Salt lake City’s plan to help homeowners afford seismic improvments to homes.

Unreinforced masonry buildings and homes (URMs) create the greatest risk for the Salt Lake Valley in the expected Utah earthquake. Fix the Bricks, facilitates seismic improvements to URMs to save lives. Preparedness starts at home, Act Now! Determine if your home is at risk and register to receive more information about how to get started including financial incentives available for making seismic improvement.

RIGHT NOW YOU CAN APPLY FOR A GRANT TO RECEIVE UP TO 75% OF YOUR SEISMIC RETROFIT COST.

Sign up at www.bereadyslc.com/go/doc/6354/2122438/

KSL.com story

UUSS Welcomes Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dr. Hao Zhang

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Dr. Hao Zhang recently joined the University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS) as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Earthquake Seismology. He comes to Utah from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University where he was a postdoctoral researcher.

Dr. Zhang received both his B.S. and Ph.D. in Geophysics from Peking University. His doctoral dissertation was titled, “Imaging the Rupture Processes of Earthquakes Using the Relative Backprojection Method”.

Some of his research accomplishments include:

  • Rapidly resolving rupture processes of the 2015 Mw 7.8 Nepal earthquake and its Mw 7.3 aftershock using a multi-array back-projection method.
  • Relocating a scattering source in the Lake Superior region.
  • Detecting microseismic events and performing cluster analyses in the south Chicago suburban region.
  • Studying the crustal structure in the Middle Continent Rift System using P-wave receiver functions.
  • Investigating the topography of the 410 km discontinuity in the Java subduction zone using 3-D pre-stacked Kirchhoff migration.

Dr. Zhang will work with UUSS faculty, staff, and students on problems of earthquake detection, location, and characterization in the Intermountain West.

Kristine Pankow (Associate Director, UUSS) says, “We are excited to have Hao join our research team here at UUSS. He brings valuable skills that will help us move our research forward.”

Dr. Bob Smith’s interview on NPR’s Hear & Now

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson takes a tour of Yellowstone National Park’s geyser basin with a park ranger and a scientist who’s been studying the geology of the park for nearly 60 years.

Yellowstone is home to more geysers than any place on Earth, and researchers are still learning about how they work.

Guests

Dr. Bob Smith, coordinating scientist at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory and an emeritus professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.

Rebecca Roland, park ranger at Yellowstone National Park.