NFSI Community Update - January 2021

Jan 4, 2021
Last updated Feb 1, 2021

by Mladen Nedimović

| Tags: January2021

Dear friends,

Happy New Year! I hope that you had wonderful holidays.

It is our intent to keep you regularly informed about developments at the NFSI through a newsletter on the last Friday of each month. Several important things happened at the end of 2020 and in January 2021. First, thanks to Katie Bosman's hard work, we launched our website at It's still in development but we believe that it already has useful information, including newly developed software and data, metadata, and results for three OBS surveys (OBWAVE, OCTOPUS, and OETR). We will keep on adding content with hopes to upload all the existing OBS and MCS data here at Dal before the end of this year. On the Projects page you can check out the earlier surveys, for which we have data/metadata/results, as well as the upcoming surveys. Please let us know if you have additional relevant data, particularly from offshore Canada, that you would like uploaded to our database. For the foreseeable future, project titles and general information will be publicly available for viewing but the project data will be downloadable only through a login that Katie will generate after receiving the PI's permission. Thanks to Pascal Audet, not only has our Software Development Committee met but we already have a couple OBS software tools, one for removing vertical component noise from tilt and compliance effects, and the other for determining seismometer orientation. Alexandre Plourde, a new Research Scientist at the GSC - Atlantic, has also contributed a tool for earthquake analysis written in MATLAB that includes functions for hypocenter estimation, "triple difference" relocation, focal mechanism determination, and stress inversion. All contributed software tools are made freely available for download to our community. Please contribute if you can. You can check these out on the Software page.

After 18 months of struggle, the BBOBS contract was signed with Güralp. The Effective Date is January 1, 2021. The first instruments should be ready mid June and there will be opportunities for those interested to go to the UK and possibly Halifax for acceptance tests and sea trials. We will put an emphasis on training techs but we will not be able to ensure success and continuity of the NFSI without strong interest of all PIs, collaborators, and other seismological faculty at Canadian universities to understand and operate the instruments, as well as continuously look for funding for projects. So please stay tuned, plan to invest time to learn how to operate the new instruments, and become certified to do so by Güralp.

With the BBOBS contract signed, we had to move quickly on a number of fronts. An RFP for the BBOBS recovery devices went out this past Monday. An RFP for 4 dual monitor workstations and a storage server is expected to go out next week. Most importantly, we feel tremendously fortunate to have hired Graeme Cairns for the Facility Manager position. He starts this coming Monday (February 1). While Graeme certainly is the most qualified person in Canada for the NFSI Manager position, he also brings the highest possible level of non-seismic geophysical research expertise to our team and community. He obtained his PhD in Nigel Edwards' group in the late 90s, at the time when the Geophysics Laboratory of the University of Toronto was at its pinnacle winning the SEG Distinguished Achievement Award in 2000. For more information please see his bio and photo on the Staff page.

Katie has also made operational the NFSI general email address and the NFSI email addresses for the staff. Please use these email addresses when writing to us for NFSI-related matters.

I keep seeking advice from Keith Louden, David Simpson, Michael Bostock, Peter Pledge, and others, as needed. I am grateful to them for their help.

We are sending this first end-of-the-month newsletter to all that are listed on our committees and only a couple other people that contributed software or are otherwise involved, as we believe that they are interested in receiving the NFSI updates. Our intention is to send the monthly updates only to people who are truly interested in the NFSI development and/or plan to at some point in the future possibly use our instruments, software, data/metadata, results, etc. If you would prefer not to receive these updates, please let Katie know and she will take you off the mailing list. Similarly, if you know of somebody that may be interested, please let them know about our newsletter and (for now) ask them to send Katie their email contact if interested. We plan to have the ability for folks to sign up for the mailing list through the website soon. Please note also that the future monthly updates will be shorter and that, depending on the amount of useful information we have to share, we may change to sending updates only quarterly.



P.S. Here is a photo of the Aquarius BBOBS from a 2019 test deployment. See also Güralp's media release.