NFSI Community Update - May 2021

Jun 3, 2021

by Mladen Nedimović

Dear Friends,

The first 5 sets of recovery devices arrived last week from Xeos, along with units to communicate with them from ship decks. We plan to send two sets of these devices to Guralp for the first Aquarius OBS sea trials scheduled offshore southern England in late July, following acceptance tests for the instruments in early July. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, we cannot go to England for these acceptance tests and sea trials but will monitor the testing closely online. Workstations and a data server were ordered from ITExpress and are expected to arrive by mid-June. Graeme Cairns, our Facility Manager, arrived in Halifax on the weekend. So we are continuing to make progress.

Kim Welford organized the first meeting of the Executive Council. We plan to meet monthly until we can figure out how to utilize the Canadian and international sources of funding for future projects.

In a move to strengthen and broaden our capabilities, Miao Zhang has proposed that the NFSI house his 96 nodal land stations which are supposed to arrive this summer. This means that others will be able to use these instruments but Miao will have first dibs. Considering that these are brand new instruments and that Miao put in a lot of effort to get them it would only be fair to in the first few years have Miao as a co-PI/collaborator on any projects that would use these instruments. We previously discussed possible contribution of existing larger and longer-term portable seismological stations to the NFSI. Now that Graeme is here, it would be useful to think about this again.

In another attempt to strengthen and broaden the NFSI capabilities to a point where we would have to change our name to something like NFGI (National Facility for Geophysical Imaging), Graeme and I sent a letter to the Canadian EM community suggesting a discussion on a CFI IF proposal for marine MT instruments, which would be complementary to the BOBS both operationally and scientifically. The next CFI IF call is expected to come out this Fall so we wanted to get ready early. So far the response has not been overwhelming and we are not sure how this will play out but we are confident that this is a great opportunity for the Canadian geophysical community.

Now, for fun, attached is one of the marine mammal tracking and earthquake risk mitigation observatories proposed in Atlantic Canada. This particular one is for the Lower St. Lawrence Seaway, where we recently discovered that baleen whale calls can be identified on land seismometers. Thus the combined marine and land effort for a tight tracking network. Such a dense network would, of course, also make it possible to delineate active faults in the region.



Proposed LSL observatory - May 2021

Figure 1: Proposed OBS network shown with relative earthquake (EQ) density and bathymetry contoured at 100 m intervals. Yellow triangles indicate land seismometers.