IRIS Community Instrument Deployment in Chile

Damage near the coast of Chile due to the 2010 earthquake. (Photo by Diana Comte, University of Chile)

The National Science Foundation, using its Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism, is supporting a project to collect an open community dataset from a portable seismograph deployment in an aftershock study following the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that occurred off the coast of Chile on February 27, 2010. The IRIS Consortium, on behalf of its Member Institutions, will work with scientists from US universities and the University of Chile to deploy 60 broadband seismic instruments to record aftershocks for approximately six months. This community-wide coordinated approach will provide the best quality dataset that can be utilized immediately by a wide range of researchers from around the world.

The 2010 Chile earthquake is the fifth largest megathrust earthquake ever to be recorded and provides an unprecedented opportunity to advance our understanding of megathrust earthquakes and associated phenomenon. The earthquake ruptured a segment of the Nazca/South America plate boundary adjacent to and north of the great magnitude 9.5 1960 Chile earthquake - a segment that has a long history of large damaging earthquakes. A key concern is how far north the mainshock ruptured and why it terminated where it did. Additionally, this segment of the Chile subduction zone has similarities with Cascadia and Alaska, including shallow dip, sediments in the trench, and a history of great earthquakes, and could provide important information for comparative studies.

Following the initial event, 142 aftershocks occurred during the first five days with magnitudes greater than 5.0. This energetic aftershock sequence will likely continue for many months and a rapid but well designed deployment should yield unique and valuable data. The preferred field strategy for this collaborative effort involves the deployment of ~50 stations as a backbone network (coordinated with Chilean and other international deployments) and ~30 additional stations configured in local arrays for high-resolution studies of segments of the aftershock zone or for detailed analysis of local response in basins. This deployment scheme is similar to that of the highly successful EarthScope USArray.

CHAMP - First data from Chile aftershock deployment now available

Initial data from the array of 58 portable seismometers installed to record aftershocks of the February 27,
2010 Mw=8.8 Chile earthquake are now available at the IRIS DMC. This first segment of data covers the
period from first installation to an initial data recovery in early April.

This IRIS community deployment of 58 portable instruments was funded by NSF-RAPID and all data are
freely open and available to all.

Details can be found at


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