Working Group for Acquiring New Magnetotelluric Instrumentation

Current Members

Paul Bedrosian USGS Member (Chair)
Bruce Beaudoin IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center Observer
Ninfa Bennington University of Wisconsin Ex Officio
Shane Evans Moombarriga Geoscience Member
Andy Frassetto IRIS Project Lead
David Goldak IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center Observer
Kerry Key Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Member
Adam Schultz Oregon State University Observer
Martyn Unsworth University of Alberta Member

Preamble to Working Group Charge

Under its new award, IRIS will establish a pool of community magnetotelluric (MT) systems at the PASSCAL Instrument Center (PIC). The PIC will comprehensively support modern MT instrumentation, provide expertise to reduce the knowledge and technical barriers for new principal investigators, and encourage more joint seismic-magnetotelluric studies. This effort will assist the identifying, testing, and procuring new MT systems (long-period and/or wideband), including but not limited to magnetic fluxgates or induction coils, dataloggers, and electrodes.

Charge to Instrumentation Working Group

The working group will bring together stakeholders from the MT community and IRIS, including experienced instrument users and IRIS governance/facility staff. It will furnish input to guide IRIS in the testing and procurement of MT instruments through the following charges:

  • Draft requests for feedback from magnetotelluric and IRIS user bases.
  • Define functional specifications (required and desired) for MT systems.
  • Develop field-based and lab-based testing plans for MT system components (electrodes, magnetometers, telluric channels, acquisition systems).
  • Establish criteria for evaluating the performance of system components.
  • Process and evaluate data from system components testing.
  • Draft report on testing and make recommendations on any relevant procurement.

This is an ad-hoc working group within the IRIS governance structure to be initially comprised of members from the IRIS Electromagnetic Advisory Committee (EMAC), MT science community, and IRIS facility. Observers from award institutions may be recused from certain discussions. Membership may evolve with the priorities of the working group. In particular, it will be important for this group to engage with instrument manufacturers as needed in support of its charge. The group will report to the EMAC, which in turn reports to the PASSCAL Standing Committee. This working group’s tasks will be considered complete when IRIS initiates a procurement of MT systems, targeted by the end of the Federal fiscal year 2020 (September 30, 2020).