Ocean Bottom Seismograph Performance during the Cascadia Initiative
Abstract:The Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Pool (OBSIP) provides instrumentation and operations support for the Cascadia Initiative community experiment. This experiment investigates geophysical processes across the Cascadia subduction zone through a combination of onshore and offshore seismic data. The recovery of Year 4 instruments in September 2015 marks the conclusion of a multi-year experiment that utilized 60 ocean-bottom seismographs (OBSs) specifically designed for the subduction zone boundary, including shallow/deep water deployments and active fisheries. The new instruments feature trawl-resistant enclosures designed by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) for shallow deployment [water depth ≤ 500 m], as well as new deep-water instruments designed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). Existing OBSIP instruments were also deployed along the Blanco Transform Fault and on the Gorda Plate through complementary experiments. Stations include differential pressure gauges (DPG) and absolute pressure gauges (APG). All data collected from the Cascadia, Blanco, and Gorda deployments will be freely available through the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (DMC).
The Cascadia Initiative is the largest amphibious seismic experiment undertaken to date and demonstrates an effective structure for community experiments through collaborative efforts from the Cascadia Initiative Expedition Team (CIET), OBSIP (institutional instrument contributors [LDEO, SIO, WHOI] and Management Office [IRIS]), and the IRIS DMC. The successes and lessons from Cascadia are a vital resource for the development of a Subduction Zone Observatory (SZO). To guide future efforts, we investigate the quality of the Cascadia OBS data using basic metrics such as instrument recovery and more advanced metrics such as noise characteristics through power spectral density analysis. We also use this broad and diverse deployment to determine how water depth and instrument shielding influence recorded data. Additionally, multi-year data collection allows us to identify temporal noise trends so that we can take advantage of quieter seasons for future deployments.