2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

IRIS/PASSCAL seismic support

no photo available


Event Number:
NSF Agreement

Program Manager:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
Cara Sucher / Elizabeth Kauffman / Paul Sullivan

Principal Investigator

Mr. Paul Carpenter

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
IRIS/PASSCAL Instrument Center
Socorro, New Mexico

Project Web Site:
http://www.passcal.nmt.edu/content/polar External Web Site


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: As required to support NSF-funded projects


The IRIS Program for Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (PASSCAL) Instrument Center supports NSF/OPP-funded projects. PASSCAL provides OPP support through: 1) equipment testing as it arrives on continent and rapid deployment to the field; 2) training to researchers; 3) on-continent instrument troubleshooting, performance evaluation, and data QC; 4) assisting researchers with data backup and archiving; and 5) field support, including installation and maintenance as required. Each year, the facility provides instrumentation and support to NSF-funded seismological projects while also developing cold-station deployment strategies, collaborating with vendors to develop and test equipment rated -55° C / -67° F, building an equipment pool, and creating a cold-station techniques repository. The team has been tasked by NSF with installing and maintaining a five-station permanent network on Mt. Erebus.

Field Season Overview

This field season, ten PASSCAL members will be based at McMurdo Station throughout the austral summer. Four members will deploy to South Pole. They will provide technical and field engineering support, and manage a pool of PASSCAL equipment. Field team members will travel to field locations as project support requirements dictate. Detailed logistical support is arranged directly between PASSCAL and the science project teams. The team will also will also be installing / servicing test stations at the South Pole Remote Earth Science and Seismological Observatory (SPRESSO), at the Castle Rock test area, and on Observation Hill. These test sites are to further prove and test developing technologies and current equipment used by PIs requesting seismic support in polar locations.

Deploying Team Members

  • Paul Carpenter (PI)
  • Dean Childs
  • Jason Hebert