Instrumentation Services

A wide range of seismological research depends critically on carefully made instrumental observations. This is true whether the target is Earth’s core, continental-scale structure, or shallow sediments at Earth’s surface. This is true whether using signals of thousands of seconds period (to study Earth’s free oscillations, mega-earthquakes, and the response to tidal forcing); or signals of tens to thousands of Hertz (for high-resolution structural mapping and near-source studies). This is true whether making observations of a few seconds duration (to capture an active-source explosion); or decadal-scale observations (to capture the evolution of subduction zones and even global climate). IRIS Instrumentation Services (IS) provides the infrastructure for these observations, whether by deploying and operating stations, making sensors available to others, setting and promoting global standards, or guiding the development of new observational technologies. Further, IS ensures these varied efforts are coordinated and efficient, best practices are identified, implemented, and documented, and knowledge is shared toward the common goal of enhancing capability, quality, and cost performance of observational seismology.


Meetings, Resources, and Initiatives

Instrumentation Services currently facilitates several major ongoing IRIS community efforts by:

  • Hosting internal (Engineering Technical Interchange) and external (Seismic Instrumentation Technology Symposium) meetings to share new technology developments and engineering practices within the IRIS team and throughout the seismological community. Most presentations from past meetings are available to browse. 
  • Collaborating with the community to explore the science drivers for sampling seismic wavefields at scales from local to global. This Wavefields Initiative has the potential to transform future instrument development and usage. 
  • Leading discussions across the solid-earth science community focused on the development of a Subduction Zone Observatory, targeted on science and hazards questions related to subduction systems. 
  • Helping to develop a new, unifying set of Quality Principles for use across IRIS.