Under its current cooperative agreement "Seismological Facility for the Advancement of Geoscience" (SAGE) with the National Science Foundation (NSF), IRIS supports portable magnetotelluric (MT) instrumentation from the PASSCAL Instrument Center (PIC) in Socorro, New Mexico. The experiment scheduling request system at the PIC now includes the option to reserve both wide band and long period MT instrumentation and request a letter of support for proposals to NSF solicitations.
This program makes a diverse set of MT capabilities widely available to U.S. principal investigators (PIs) for the first time in a generation by providing modern instrumentation with user training and data handling support at no cost to NSF supported PIs. Instruments from the PIC are used worldwide and often form the backbone of international, collaborative research projects. By leveraging the established resources and expertise at the PIC, IRIS is providing a foundation to broaden the participation of PIs in MT research by increasing opportunities for non-specialists and encouraging combined seismic-magnetotelluric experiments. The recent virtual mini-course "Everything You Need to Know About Proposing to Use PASSCAL MT Instrumentation" reviews the resources for doing MT science through PASSCAL, highlights next steps for this program under the SAGE award, provides examples of how MT observations can fuel frontier research in earth systems science, and explains how PI projects may be supported with funding from NSF science programs.
The PASSCAL MT facility, originally envisioned in the NGEO facility proposal, is overseen by the PASSCAL Standing Committee (PASC) and Electromagnetic Advisory Committee (EMAC). We invite anyone interested to join the PASSCAL MT mailing list for updates on these activities. Please contact the MT Program Manager (Andy Frassetto) if you have any questions about this program.