This summer I will be working at the Albuquerque Seismic Laboratory (ASL) determining how different meteorological events effect seismic noise. What started as looking at rain and hail data spring boarded the project to focus on infrasound signals across a seismic array. Some interesting features we will investigate include determining the location of a lightning strike by back tracking the sound across the array and comparing the acoustic response to the speed of sound; thus, giving us distance and direction. Another interesting aspect to be explored is how acoustic response transforms/ or doesn't transform into seismic response; i.e. are seismometers measuring ground motion because of acoustic pressure variations or is it a simple acoustic response, and if the former where and how does that transition occur? One important application will be investigating best practices for emplacement methods and emplacement materials across the array to mitigate the noise response.
Howdy! Things are going great at ASL. I have been tasked with preparing an elevator pitch about my research and this week's blog is a reflection of that process. I thought it was pretty easy to take these big concepts with numerous nueances and boil them down to a 30 second pitch. That's how I normally think, becuase starting off with the most basic broad understanding is much easier to then dive into the nitty gritty details than visa versa.
Today I set up one of several sensors for the infrasound array that is goung to help us answer some questions we have about how acoustic signals interact with seismometers. To do that we had to get porous volcanic rocks to place around the sensor to mitigate the effect of wind noise. Hence the title: 'Rocks from Home Depot'.
This past weekend I went horseback riding up in the mountains. I hiked around in the mountains of Santa Fe to see the Aspens which were absolutely gorgeous.
By the tiltle of this blog post I hope you get my reference to the Hobbit. It truly has been an unexpected journey.
a) The data set I will be using for this summer has so far come from the IRIS database. I am loooking at the seismic array across the ASL lab which consists of roughly 10 stations I am currently sifting through. This data is really interesting to look at because in some cases they all have the same emplacement methods, but are geographically seraparted; others are geographically colocated but at different depths; and there are different types of seismometers which are all sending data across multiple samppling rates (LH*,BH*,and HH*). All of the data can be compared to the reference seimometer placed within a vault in precambrain granite that is sealed off from atmosphereic conditions by 3 separate doorways and an airlock that hasn't been opened in over a year and a half. Everything comes to me in digital counts and I have to use python to remove the count response and get back to velocity ofground motion. I primarily look at the data in xmax first ( a program here at the USGS to look at the raw counts of the signals). I then go into python to work on putting to gether a publication quality figure. Pretty soon here I plan to set up an experiment based on a interesting question I have put together from looking at my figures which plot a wide variety of different events and ways of comparing infrasound to seismic signal.
b)One of the skills I would like to reflect on is my computing skills. Even since last week my growth in python has improved imensely. I can now start a figure idea and execute the code to produce what I envision; or atleast a rouhgh outline of it. What it means to me to be proficient in computing? It means being able to do what I just said: produce my own code. This skill is imprtant to develop because computing is so powerful and it gets so much easier with practice. We have so much data to look at that the old pen and paper method just doesn't work anymore. It just takes practice.
I got to visit Petroglyph National Monument and see the amazing works of art there. I also got the privelage of being able to walk right on top of the cinder cone volcanoes here in ABQ on an awesome trail they have. One of the coolest places I have gotten to eat at is called the Sawmill where they have a bunch of artisan food stands and I got an amazing icecram bowl that came with a waffle shaped like a fish.
My name is Josh Watzak and I am the LOUDEST, and the PROUDEST, member of the Fightin' Texas Aggies Class of 2023! Aye Aye Aye Whoop! I am a rising junior geophysics major and a minor in Spanish language. I love coffee, Taylor Swift, and reading. I have been in ABQ for two and half weeks now and I absolutely love it! My favorite part is waking up everyday ot a new and exciting adventure. Some additional info about me, I like to wake up everymorning to a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin (emphasis on large cup of coffee). I am 20 and this is my first internship.
I intern at the Albuequerque Seismic Laboratory (ASL) Monday-Fridays from 8-4. Where I'm from in Texas it is complelty flat, so it's so much fun driving up into the moutains everyday. It's exciting to be at this lab because I am surrounded by experts who love teaching about seismology and there are so many cool peices of equipment! Just this morning I got to trouble shoot a radio station on one of the seismometers in the array. My first few days here were very interesting because it was like plunging into the deep end of the pool where I was surrounded by vast amounts of new knowledge, but as the week went by I became more in my element. There's like a running joke in the office that the people here have to remeber that not everyone has been studying seismology for the last 20 years, but they should still be able to carry on a conversation about it. Maybe its one of those 'you had to be there jokes', but as with most geology jokes and puns they're gneiss. When my parents ame to visit after my first week and I was explaining my project to them I had to slow down and go back to terms I was using on day 1 of the internship. So in a very short time I have learned alot!
My goals for the summer:
1) Ground up learning
I want to learn any thing and everything about seismology
2) Produce a peice of reserach presentable at AGU that I am proud of
Sort of along the same lines of 'ground up learning', I want to be a part of every aspect of the reserach process: reading literature, conferring with others about posible ideas, producing my own figures,setting up a lab experiment, writing a reserach paper, etc.
3) Get better at computing
While not my favorite goal, it is one that I think pertenant to my future sucess.
4) Get physically fit
Outside the scope of theinternship, I want to imporve my physical fitness. My summer apartment is located nextdoor to a gym so it must be a sign that I should be working out more. When I first walked into the gym it was pretty scary because all they had was free weights and power lifting equipment that I had no idea how to use, but I already had paid my membership so I might as well use it.