2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Global seismograph station at South Pole, Scott Base, and Palmer stations

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G-090-P/S Research Location(s): B2 Science Building / SPRESSO Vault / Terra Lab / Scott Base (NZ)


Event Number:
NSF/EAR Award 1261681

Program Manager:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Timothy Ager / Neal Scheibe

Principal Investigator(s)

Mr. Kent Anderson
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
Socorro, New Mexico

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: Palmer Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: B2 Science Building / SPRESSO Vault / Terra Lab / Scott Base (NZ)


The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) is an NSF-sponsored university consortium dedicated to operating scientific facilities for the acquisition, management, and distribution of freely available seismic data. This project is a long-term seismicity study and is part of IRIS’s 120-plus station Global Seismographic Network (GSN), a joint network operated by both IRIS and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), including installations at Palmer Station, Scott Base, and South Pole Station. Recently, the South Pole seismic station was moved from the V1 vault (near the old dome site) to the South Pole Remote Earth Science and Seismological Observatory (SPRESSO) to reduce station-related “cultural” noise. The move has made it the quietest seismic station in the entire GSN. Lower background noise levels will allow researchers to see smaller events from farther away and help identify and characterize Antarctic seismicity.

Field Season Overview

A support contractor research associate (RA) provides year-round, on-site support for this research project's instruments. In addition, every other season a two-person science field team deploys to the South Pole in mid-December for routine maintenance on the installed instruments. The science team does not typically deploy to Palmer Station, but may deploy USGS personnel to Palmer as part of their field team. If work is necessary at either station during the off season, NSF approval is required because of limited bed space. The science team conducts training for the RA, which includes a site visit to the principal investigator's home institution for two days prior to deployment. Maintenance of the station at Scott Base (NZ) is accomplished using IRIS personnel at McMurdo Station.

Deploying Team Members

  • Jared Anderson
  • David Jones
  • Edward Kromer
  • Edward Kromer
  • Samuel Sandoval