Yellowstone-Intermountain Seismic Array


A digitally telemetered network of 31 IRIS-PASSCAL Guralp 40-T seismometers was installed in September and October, 1999 northeast of Yellowstone National Park as part of the NSF-funded Continental Dynamics Project, "Geodynamics of the Yellowstone Hotspot."
Objectives of this multi-institution collaborative experiment are to investigate the dynamics and structure of the Yellowstone Hotspot including plume-plate interaction. We will use tomography, receiver functions, shear wave splitting, etc. to determine whether a deep-seated plume is responsible for the volcanism, deformation, and topographic, geoid, and heat flow anomalies observed at Yellowstone.

Continuously streamed digital data (sampled at 40 sps) from the three-component broadband seismometers are transmitted to two collection towers via spread-spectrum radios and relayed to a collection site in Billings, MT using a 2.2 GHz microwave radio. The data are linked to the Internet and are fed into our primary object ring buffer (ORB) at the University of Utah supplied by the Antelope software system. Data from four additional networks in the intermountain west spanning an area ~1,200 km north-south and ~500 km east-west are being collected along with the Montana broadband data including all or part of the following networks: the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, the Montana Bureau of Mines, the Idaho National Environmental Engineering Laboratory, and the U.S. National Seismic Network. We will soon be recording stations within the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Teton Network as well as stations operated by the University of Nevada-Reno. Over 150 seismograph stations with nearly 300 total channels are being fed into the ORB and recorded in real time. The size of the survey area and the amount of data represent a prototype for the USArray. Many logistical problems that may occur during that project may be foreseen with this ISIS network.
The telemetry has been hugely successful in recovering data from the 31 stand-alone station, temporary Montana array during eight months of operation. We routinely recover over 99.85% of the data from that array.
Local and teleseismic earthquake first arrivals are automatically picked and the earthquakes are located in near-real-time using Antelope. Magnitudes are also calculated automatically.


This project could not have been possible without the cooperation of many people at various institutions:

ISIS station map
Click on the map for a 4.5 Mb PDF version which shows the station names.

The above map shows the configuration of ISIS seismographs being recorded at the University of Utah's ORB along with the USBR's Teton Network. The circles represent short-period vertical sensors, triangles are short-period three component seismographs, and hexagons are broad-band three-component seismographs. Colors correspond to the primary operators of the stations. The Montana ISIS broad-band array has been pulled out.

Telemetry Configuration

This is the telemetry configuration that was used to record the 31 station Montana array in near real time. Seismographs plotted as purple hexagons, primary collection towers, Greeno and Bull are plotted as red stars, secondary collection tower at Montana State University (MSU) plotted in blue.
Primary telemetry links are 1 W 908-928 MHz spread-spectrum freewave radios (red lines). The maximum distance of these links is ~90 km. The two primary towers are connected with each other over 46 km via microwave radio (orange dashed line). The 18 km link between Greeno tower and MSU is also made with microwave radio (blue dashed line). At MSU the data are ported to the University of Utah over the internet.

Click here for some examples of the data. This is a large file (905Kb).

Go to the Yellowstone Geodynamics Home Page

Go to Bob Smith's Home Page

Go to Ken Dueker's Home Page

Go to Eugene Humphreys' Home Page