Upgrade and SAFOD Expansion

Thanks to emergency funding from the USGS NEHRP, we replaced the original 10-station system with a modern 24-bit acquisition system (Quanterra 730 4-channel digitizers, advanced software using flash disk technology, spread-spectrum telemetry, Sun Ultra 10/440 central processor at the in-field collection point, with 56K frame-relay connectivity to Berkeley) in 2001. The new system is now online and recording data continuously at a central site located on California Department of Forestry (CDF) fire station property in Parkfield.

We have also added three new borehole stations, with NSF support, at the NW end of the network as part of the SAFOD project to improve resolution of the structure, kinematics and monitoring capabilities in the SAFOD drill-path and target zones. Figure 6.1 illustrates the location of the drill site, the new borehole sites, and locations of earthquakes recorded by the initial and upgraded/expanded HRSN.

The three new SAFOD stations have a similar configuration as the original upgraded 10 station network and include an additional channel for electrical signals. Station descriptions and instrument properties are summarized in Tables 6.1 and 6.2. All HRSN Q730 data loggers employ FIR filters to extract data at 250 and 20 Hz (Table 6.3).


Table 6.3: Data streams currently being acquired at each HRSN site. Sensor type, channel name, sampling rate, sampling mode, and type of FIR filter are given. C indicates continuous; T triggered; Ac acausal; Ca causal. ``?" indicates orthogonal vertical and 2 horizontal components.
Sensor Channel Rate (sps) Mode FIR
Geophone DP? 250.0 T and C Ca
Geophone BP? 20.0 C Ac


The remoteness of the drill site and new stations required an installation of an intermediate data collection point at Gastro Peak, with a microwave link to the CDF facility. The HRSN stations use SLIP to transmit TCP and UDP data packets over bidirectional spread-spectrum radio links between the on-site data acquisition systems and the central recording system at the CDF. Six of the sites transmit directly to a router at the central recording site. The other seven sites transmit to a router at Gastro Peak, where the data are aggregated and transmitted to the central site over a 4 MBit/second digital 5.4 GHz microwave link. All HRSN data are recorded to disk at the CDF site.

The upgraded and expanded system is compatible with the data flow and archiving common to all the elements of the BDSN/NHFN and the NCEDC, and is providing remote access and control of the system. It is also providing data with better timing accuracy and longer records, which are to eventually flow seamlessly into NCEDC. The new system also solves the problems of timing resolution, dynamic range, and missed detections, in addition to providing the added advantage of conventional data flow (the old system recorded SEGY format).

Because of limitations in bandwidth, a modified version of the REDI system (this report) is used to detect events in the HRSN data, extract waveform triggers, and transmit the waveform segments to the BSL. However, the December 22, 2003 San Simeon earthquake and its aftershocks sent the HRSN into nearly continuous triggering. As a result, BSL staff disabled the transmission of triggered data.

At present, all continuous 20 sps data streams and 7 vertical component channels at 250 sps are telemetered to the BSL and archived on the NCEDC in near-real-time. All continuous 250 sps data are migrated periodically from HRSN computer in Parkfield to DLT tape. These tapes are then mailed periodically to the BSL and then are processed for archiving at the NCEDC.

A feature of the new system that has been particularly useful both for routine maintenance and for pathology identification has been the Internet connectivity of the central site processing computer and the station data loggers with the computer network at BSL. Through this connection, select data channels and on-site warning messages from the central site processor are sent directly to BSL for evaluation by project personnel. If, upon these evaluations, more detailed information on the HRSN's performance is required, additional information can also be remotely accessed from the central site processing computer at Parkfield. Analysis of this remotely acquired information has been extremely useful for trouble shooting by allowing field personnel to schedule and plan the details of maintenance visits to Parkfield. The connectivity also allows certain data acquisition parameters to be modified remotely when needed, and commands can be sent to the central site computer and data loggers to modify or restart processes when necessary.

The network connectivity also allows remote monitoring of the background noise levels being recorded by the HRSN stations. For example, shown in Figure 6.2 are power spectral density plots of background noise for vertical components of the 7 HRSN stations that are most critical for monitoring seismicity in the region containing SAFOD. The PSD analysis gives a rapid assessment of the HRSN seismometer responses across their wide band-width. By routinely generating these plots with data telemetered from Parkfield, changes in the seismometer responses, often indicating problems with the acquisition system, can be easily identified, and corrective measures can then be planned and executed on a relatively short time-frame.

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