NFSI Community Update - April 2021

May 6, 2021

by Mladen Nedimović

Dear friends,

For the recovery devices, the Technical Evaluation Committee has chosen to go with the XEOS bid. For the workstations and data server, the most suitable bid was chosen and the procurement process is underway. At this point Graeme and I are working to complete this process to contracts. Once this is done, we will provide you with specifics on this instrumentation. The construction of the BOBS seems to be progressing well despite the delays with deliveries of Li batteries and broadband hydrophones that Guralp is facing.

One of the next steps is to test the recovery devices in the Bedford Basin using a zodiac. However, we would like Graeme to be here in Halifax for that. He was supposed to arrive here in Halifax the first week of May but Nova Scotia is completely shut down for non-essential travel since April 21. We managed to get a letter of support from Dalhousie Administration for a travel exemption application for Graeme and submitted this to government of Nova Scotia, but so far no response. Another thing we have started looking into is where to store and how to handle the instrumentation when it arrives. The 120 BOBS will weight between 30 and 40 tons and have more than 50,000 rechargeable batteries, which combined will be challenging to handle from both physical and safety perspectives.

We are also making progress with the database. Data, metadata, and data analysis products for all OBS projects from offshore Nova Scotia (SMART, OETR, and OCTOPUS), as well as the OBWAVE from the Orphan Basin have been uploaded. Katie is currently working on uploading JADE project materials from the west coast.

The Executive Council, NFSI staff, and the Chair of our Advisory Council had a call today with NSERC to explore finding a path toward a successful and sustainable NFSI. While no clear path forward exists, the call was useful and there is optimism that this goal is achievable. We stayed online after NSERC people left to discuss how to proceed. We decided to move forward with monthly calls led by Kim Welford to define funding models for both the short and long term.

I am attaching a draft plan for the Grand Banks test survey that Alex spearheaded. The Fall 2021 ship time for the deployments, expendables, and BOBS drop fees are funded by a MEOPAR NCE project. The current plans for the June 2022 instrument recovery and mob/demob is to use the facility test funds. However, we will likely apply for NSERC ship time funding this September for this component. Note that there are two possible survey locations in the figure, each with 40 km instrument spacing which we estimate is sufficient to detect the majority of M1 earthquakes in the survey area. The proposed survey targets the 1929 mainshock site with the goal of identifying the fault responsible for that event;  an alternative, deep-water site targets earthquakes further from the margin and aims to unravel their relation to the 1929 earthquake and landslide. All comments on how to further optimize the survey, and which of the two study areas may be better suited to achieve our goals, are welcome.



Grand Banks proposed deployment

First instrumentation test with 12 OBS to substitute for the lost Baffin Bay project. Yellow triangles indicate OBS locations. Orange circle is location of M7.2 Grand Banks 1929 earthquake. Green triangles are land seismic stations.