NFSI Laboratory

The NFSI is based in a 1475 sq ft laboratory space in the Steele Ocean Sciences Building at Dalhousie University, consisting of a 1210 sq ft Instrumentation Lab and two Data Analysis rooms (Figure 1). Our location in the SOSB provides an innovative research laboratory setting adjacent to the Ocean Frontier Institute and other high-caliber ocean research groups, promoting research collaborations and synergies, and thereby enhancing the global ocean research programs at Dalhousie.

The lab includes workspace for assembly, testing, and repair of the OBS instruments. It will also house high-end computing resources for deposition and retrieval of seismic data, and data preprocessing and analysis. The rechargeable battery packs used for the OBS will be stored here, to ensure they can be kept and monitored in a stable environment. The OBS themselves will be stored separately in 40-foot dry storage containers. Bench stations in the lab allow technical staff to work on 10 instruments at a time. Offices inside the lab also provide space for facility staff to analyze collected seismic data, plan future projects and surveys, and coordinate facility operations. The lab is linked via Dalhousie’s local network to a secure server in the Killam Library, where all seismic data will be stored post-acquisition, and from where these data will be provided to internal and external facility users as needed.

Located in a major university setting, the NFSI lab also has the opportunity to teach students about all aspects of ocean-based seismic data, from details of the instruments themselves, to survey planning and data pre-processing and analysis, thus cultivating the next generation of experts in the field.

The NFSI lab space on the SOSB 4th floor

The NFSI lab space on the Steele Ocean Sciences Building 4th floor. View of the Instrumentation Lab with the doors to the two Data Analysis rooms at the far back.

Dr. Keith Louden explaining the OBS instrument package

Dr. Keith Louden describing the now decomissioned Dal-GSC short-period OBS to members of the DIG (Dalhousie Imaging Group).

Computing Resources

The NFSI lab also serves as a location for development of seismic data analysis software, initial data processing into standardized data formats, and storage and distribution of data and results. For this purpose, the lab will be equipped with 4 high-end workstations for data upload and post-acquisition preprocessing of the field OBS data.

All collected seismic data and metadata will be stored on-site at Dalhousie and maintained by facility staff. These data will be accessible from the NFSI server directly through our data access form or externally through IRIS. All data analysis results produced by the NFSI will also be stored on the NFSI server, and available through this website and/or technical publications, as appropriate. All software packages developed and maintained by the NFSI are freely accessible to the public. To learn about and/or download any of our data or software packages, please click the appropriate button below.

Staging Area

The NFSI also occupies space on the first floor of the Life Sciences Centre at Dalhousie University, near the building’s loading bay (rooms 1862/1863, total 311 sq ft). This space will be used mainly for mobilization and demobilization of the OBS tools for field programs.

One seismometer, identical to those in the deployable OBS, will be permanently installed in this space and recording local ground motion. These recordings will be used for calibration of the OBS before deployment.