Best Practices for Seismic Posthole Emplacement

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Emplacement of seismometers in postholes has progressed greatly in the last decade through availability of purpose-built sensors and through a wide exploration of techniques by seismic network operators and principal investigators. For our purposes here, posthole emplacement can range from shallow to deep, cased to uncased, holes drilled into piers, as well as grouted in sensors. The Best Practices for Seismic Posthole Emplacement project has the following main goals:

  1. Summarize the history, motivations, and developments of seismic posthole emplacement for the seismology community and the public.
  2. Draw on the vast experience of seismic network operators and principal investigators who have installed seismic sensors in postholes. Foster the sharing of successes, failures, and lessons learned through technical presentations and discussions on focused topics within seismic posthole emplacement. 
  3. Assemble examples of posthole emplacement sites that have publicly accessible data and are sufficiently documented for reproducibility of results. Known noise sources can be included.
  4. Identify a set of recommended best practices for seismic posthole emplacement.

By pulling together the expertise of our community, we will be able to put together a public resource of previous experiences and recommendations going forward. This will ensure future seismic posthole emplacements will be of the highest quality possible and will outline the areas ripe for exploration and technical development.


Left) Josh Folmar operates a drill during construction of Alaska Transportable Array station N20K in front of Mount Spurr, Alaska (Photo: J. Miner, IRIS)   Right) Kyle Smith (UAF) installs a seismometer at a site in the Minto Flats of central Alaska in September 2015 (Photo: C. Tape, UAF)


Opportunities for Participation

We welcome feedback and plan to gather community input through a variety of methods. A posthole emplacement mailing list is available through the IRIS Message Center at: to provide a forum for discussion and for announcements of events. Please consider joining us at one or more of the following events to provide your input and get involved. 

Upcoming events:

Past events:


Comments are welcome, and we encourage you to get in touch with the organizers with any suggestions, questions, or concerns.

Kasey Aderhold IRIS Co-Lead kasey(at)
Emily Wolin USGS Co-Lead ewolin(at)


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