Under the "Seismological Facility for the Advancement of Geoscience" (SAGE) cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF), EarthScope Consortium supports portable magnetotelluric (MT) instrumentation from the EarthScope Primary Instrument Center (EPIC) in Socorro, New Mexico. The experiment scheduling request system at the EPIC provides options to reserve both wide band and long period MT instrumentation and request a letter of support for proposals to some NSF solicitations.
This program makes a modern and diverse set of MT capabilities widely available to 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 EPIC are used worldwide and often form the backbone of collaborative international research projects. By leveraging the established resources and expertise at the EPIC, the SAGE Facility 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 SAGE facility has also hosted several MT learning opportunities for students and researchers since 2018. The virtual mini-course "Everything You Need to Know About Proposing to MT Instrumentation" reviews the resources for doing MT science through the EPIC, 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. More recently the in-person "Magnetotelluric Instrumentation and Data Processing Short Course" provided a dozen students and faculty a crash course in MT theory, instrumentation, data processing, and scientific analysis.
The EPIC MT facility was originally envisioned in the NGEO facility proposal. We invite anyone interested to join the EarthScope general mailing list for updates on MT-related activities. For questions on using MT instrumentation please contact Maeva Pourpoint. For questions on MT learning opportunities and resources please contact Justin Sweet.