First site at the end of the road

Yesterday we returned to our base station at Kodiak Alaska Fisheries Science Center to find that the test of our seismic equipment was very successful. All equipment worked flawlessly – we even recorded a magnitude 2.9 earthquake that occurred a couple of miles away! We also found that the salmon shark was still with us and had defrosted further, bringing interesting smells to our work space.

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First earthquake! (Although we recorded during our equipment testing). A M 2.9 right next to Kodiak:

With the equipment testing complete, we installed our first station, which was located on the northeastern corner of Kodiak Island at the very end of the road system.   As we drove north, the clouds lifted, giving us peeks of some of Kodiak’s spectacular snow-capped mountains.

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Mountain views on the way north from Kodiak town

To ensure that our seismic station would be quiet, safe and dry, we selected a spot about a 200-meter walk uphill from our parking spot.  Installing one of these stations involves a lot of kit, so it took us several trips to haul all of the equipment and tools that we needed up the hill.  The manual labor does not stop there! We bury our seismometer in a hole that is ~3 feet deep, so that it is isolated from noises at the surface and able to provide clean recordings of nearby and distant earthquakes.  This involves some serious digging.  The seismometer is connected to batteries, a data recorder and a GPS, which are placed in a metal box, which we hope will protect our equipment from bears.  Our installation was a little wet since it was raining, but otherwise went very well. One down, twelve to go for the Kodiak team!

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Everyone hard at work installing first site

Donna Shillington, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

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