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2010 PBIC Update: El Mayor Response

SCEC portable instruments were deployed in collaboration with UC Riverside and the USGS in response to the 4 April 2010 M7.2 Earthquake. The map below left shows the location of portable stations at the northern end of the aftershock sequence, just above the boarder with Mexico (yellow line). Data from all of these stations has now been integrated into the SCEDC. An image of 30 days of continuous strong motion data (below middle) shows 6 events that exceeded 0.1g peak ground acceleration (PGA) at station ZY.OYSB. The Yuha desert along the border of Mexico made for a very geologically interesting deployment location (below right).


2008 News: Two new stations with real-time telemetry capabilities are also now part of the PBIC inventory. These consist of Kinemetrics Q330 6-channel 24-bit data loggers and 8Gb Marmot field processors. Real-time data communications is typically handled via VPN broadband cellular modem technology that has the capability of streaming 6 channels of data at 200 samples per second. Two new Kinemetrics FBA ES-T (Episensors) tri-axial accelerometers are also available for deployment with these data acquisition systems, as well as the traditional L4C-3D three-component weak motion PBIC sensors.

PBIC Background

The Portable Broadband Instrument Center (PBIC) was established in 1991 by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) to provide researchers with year-round access to a "pool" of high-resolution, digital seismic recording equipment. Managed out of the Institute for Crustal Studies (ICS) at the University of California Santa Barbara by Jamie Steidl, with technical assistance from Paul Hegarty and Aaron Martin and support from undergraduate laboratory assistants from the department of Earth Science and electrical and computer engineering.

The ability of the PBIC to respond rapidly to a major southern California earthquake with the deployment of seismographs in the near-source region was a catalyst for the creation of the PBIC and is a critical asset of earthquake research community. This has been highlighted by the successful deployment of PBIC equipment in the 2008 Shakeout Excercise, the 2004 Parkfield and 2003 San Simeon earthquakes, as well as the four major earthquake sequences in the previous decade (1992 M6.1 Joshua Tree and M7.3 Landers, 1994 M6.7 Northridge, and 1999 M7.1 Hector Mine). The ability to conduct innovative research experiments in between these major earthquake sequences using PBIC equipment is another very important asset. One of the main goals of the PBIC is to facilitate research in the earthquake community by providing readily accessible seismic monitoring stations for deployment in the southern California region.

The current data recorders maintained by the PBIC are primarily Refraction Technology (RefTek) 16- and 24-bit data loggers that record to 1 Gb SCSI hard drives (or larger) in field enclosures. Sensors consist of high output velocity transducers to record weak motion and force balance accelerometers designed to stay on-scale (up to +/- 2G) for the strong ground motion expected from very large earthquakes. A broad dynamic range of recording is obtained by pairing both types of sensors with a single 6-channel recorder. The PBIC also operates intermediate period sensors that provide increased frequency bandwidth to allow better investigation of deep basins and crustal structure from regional and global seismicity. The PBIC maintains an online equipment inventory that provides researchers with access to equipment types and availability [PBIC online database].


Learn about PBIC equipment

Check out the current PBIC Instrumentation and Equipment usage and availability from the PBIC online database.


Jamison Steidl Program Manager voice: (805) 893-4905 email: steidl@crustal.ucsb.edu
Aaron Martin Computer/Network Technician voice: (805) 893-8415
fax: (805) 893-8649
cell: (805) 448-4120
email: aaron@crustal.ucsb.edu