2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Global seismograph station at South Pole and Palmer Stations

no photo available


Event Number:
NSF/EAR 1261681

Program Manager:
Dr. Thomas Wilch

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Jamee Johnson / Paul Sullivan

Principal Investigator

Mr. Kent Anderson

United States Geological Survey
Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory
Sandia Park, New Mexico

Project Web Site:
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/monitoring/gsn/ External US Government Site


Supporting Stations: Palmer Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: B2 Lab / SPRESSO Vault / Terra Lab


The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) is a university consortium sponsored by the NSF and dedicated to the operation of scientific facilities for the acquisition, management, and distribution of freely available seismic data. This project is a long-term study of seismicity and is part of IRIS's 120-plus station Global Seismographic Network (GSN). Seismic stations at Palmer Station and at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station are named PMSA and QSPA respectively. Recently, the South Pole seismic station was moved from the V1 vault (near the old dome site) to SPRESSO to reduce station-related "cultural" noise. The move has made QSPA the quietest seismic station in the entire GSN. These lower background noise levels will allow researchers to see smaller events from farther away as well as help identify and characterize Antarctic seismicity.

Field Season Overview

No team members will deploy to Palmer Station or the South Pole this year. ASC research associates will perform routine maintenance on the instruments.

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Office of Polar Programs