Seismological Facility for the Advancement of Geoscience (SAGE)
What is SAGE?
Established in 2018, NSF’s Seismological Facility for the Advancement of Geoscience (SAGE) is a distributed, multi-user national facility operated by IRIS that provides state of-the-art seismic and related geophysical instrumentation and services to support research and education in the geosciences. This integrated set of facility capabilities enables advances in our understanding of Earth structure and dynamics, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and interactions between the solid Earth, hydrosphere, and atmosphere through the management and operation of:
- Global seismic networks that collect data continously;
- Portable seismic and magnetotelluric instrumentation for use in PI-driven and community experiments;
- Data management systems that collect, provide quality assurance, curate, and distribute open access geophysical data and data products;
- Education, workforce development, and public outreach programs that engage a wide variety of audiences, including groups traditionally underrepresented in the geosciences.
SAGE Data Services (DS) is the world’s largest facility for the archiving, curation, and distribution of seismological and other geophysical research data and data products.
SAGE DS goals include:
- In collaboration with GAGE (NSF’s Geodetic Facility for the Advancement of Geoscience, operated by UNAVCO), integrating SAGE and GAGE DS into a single system that will allow users to discover and obtain seismic, geodetic, and other data in a particular region or time period;
- Providing data services that adhere to the Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) principles;
- Developing a nimble infrastructure to expand the number of data types that can be accessed;
- Providing support for international standards for data exchange and web service specifications;
- Making data accessible near to high-performance computational resources.
Global Seismographic Network
A multi-use facility, the 152-station Global Seismographic Network (GSN) supports basic research into global seismicity and Earth structure as well as earthquake hazard mission-related tasks such as earthquake location and characterization, tsunami warning, and nuclear explosion monitoring. IRIS and the IDA group at the University of California San Diego operate 40 of the GSN stations as part of SAGE, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey.
GSN activities continue to focus on optimizing and maintaining high station performance by:
- Replacing the GSN’s aging very broadband sensors and other equipment;
- Improving the quality of the data and associated metadata;
- Ensuring the resiliency of the network;
- Where appropriate, adding a range of instrumentation supported by the station platforms.
Working with the community, SAGE is updating GSN design goals to reflect new science objectives and to incorporate new technologies.
The SAGE PASSCAL facility maintains the world’s largest open access, shared-use pool of portable seismic sensors and a wide range of associated equipment. This capability is essential for both PI-driven seismic data acquisition projects and larger community experiments, and supports education and workforce development projects in the geosciences.
The primary activities of the SAGE PASSCAL facility are:
- Maintaining instruments, infrastructure, and services to allow facilitation of seismological experiments, including training, experiment planning, logistics support, engineering, and data services;
- Increasing the pool of modern instrumentation to support cutting-edge scientific research;
- Creating and expanding the instrument pool to rapidly respond to and characterize geohazard events;
- Providing engineering support to facilitate high-quality, robust deployments in polar regions;
- Expanding the services provided by the Seismic Source Facility to broaden the user base.
Magnetotelluric (MT) studies record Earth’s ambient electric and magnetic fields to characterize the conductivity of the shallow crust to upper mantle. These distinct observations help to enhance and discriminate results obtained from seismic imaging methods. Under the SAGE award, a new pool of portable MT instruments to support PI-driven experiments has been established at the PASSCAL Instrument Center.
The SAGE PASSCAL MT facility is:
- Managing a shared-use instrument pool of long-period and wide-band MT systems (data acquisition systems, fluxgate and induction coil magnetometers, and non-toxic chemistry electrodes);
- Developing open-source MT data formatting and processing software;
- Providing access to proprietary software products during in-field acquisition;
- Broadening recognition, accessibility, and collaboration for MT science through focused outreach and training.
Education and Public Outreach
Through its commitment to advance awareness and understanding of geophysics while inspiring Earth science careers, SAGE Education and Public Outreach (EPO) strives to engage educators and students of all ages, especially those from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the geosciences.
SAGE EPO focuses on:
- Continuing the successful activities developed by IRIS and supported by community members, such as summer undergraduate internships, Teachable Moment slide sets, K–12 curriculum, professional development workshops, public displays and lectures, and a strong social media presence;
- Expanding undergraduate-level workforce development activities, including the creation of an online careers module and a set of urban and environmental geophysics modules, and the development of a virtual summer-long Seismic Skill Building Workshop;
- Adding to the extensive collection of animations, videos, and visualizations, and developing new interactive simulations.