These past two weeks have been extremely busy working at the test site. Between waking up at 4 am and the 2.5 hour commute to where we are working, I have had little time for anything besides working, eating, and sleeping. Despite being exhausting, I have found the work at the site, SPE Climax, extremely interesting. Last week I was able to gather a lot more information about the experiment through reading and talking to people. Cathy and I sat down and she explained the entire experiment to me and how I will contribute to it. I was also able to sit down with a geologist at the site to learn about the geology of the area. Basically, for Phase I, the granite with multpile faults and an abormally high water table caused many problems with the experiment. For Phase II, I will help to conduct a vibra-seis to determine the subsurface geology of the new test site. Although the vibra-seis has been delayed due to challenges in choosing a location, it is looking like I might be conducting two surveys at seperate sites to better determine which site to choose. In this case, I will be helping to collect the data and therefore one of the first ones to take a look at the raw data. I will be using SPW to analyze the data. The survey itself should only take about 2 days.
While at the test site, I have been outside for most of the time, which is the environment that I love to work in. Last week, I went around to the seismic stations at the site with two other guys as they determined the problems in the stations and worked to fix them. It gave me some great first hand experience working with the equipment as well as hiking and offroading on a four-wheeler. This week, Brandon and a guy he's working with at Sandia, Kyle, came to the test site to install infrasound stations. I did not have much previous knowledge of infrasound, so this week was extremely beneficial in learning how the stations contribute to the experimenet as a whole. I also helped install some more seismic stations in circular arrays.
Although it has been long hours, I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I have spent at the test site thus far. Most people refer to the the test site as a waste land but I think it is actually quite beautiful with its vast views and mountains. I have even been able to see remnants of old gold mines and wild horses. Although I have not seen any yet, I have been told that there is turqouise where the igneous rock meets the limestone up in the mountains. It has been extremely hectic during the week so I have taken some time on the weekends to relax, play some golf with my dad and do some great hiking in red rock canyon.
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