Physics Seminar

Wednesday, 3/2/2005, 4:30 pm
Willet Science Center 101


Leland Timothy Long
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Georgia Institute of Technology

Earthquakes and Seismometers
in Georgia


Georgia is not noted for its earthquakes.  However, Georgians have experienced many smaller events and some of the larger eastern United States earthquakes.  Consequently, seismic monitoring has been minimal in Georgia.  The early earthquakes are documented by felt reports only.  It was not until the early 1960s that instrumental recording of Georgia’s earthquakes was made possible by the construction of WWSSN station ATL, 27 miles south of Atlanta.  In the early 1970s a variety of portable instruments were used to document microearthquakes.  Then with the construction of dams and the licensing of Nuclear Power Plants, parts of Georgia, along with parts of neighboring South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee were monitored with up to 50 short period (1.0 Hz) telemetry systems.  When funding for these from the NRC died out in the 1980s, monitoring was transferred to the USGS and the existing stations were replaced by a more modern, but sparse, network of broad-band seismic stations.  Only one, GOGA, operates in Georgia.  In the late 1990s an educational seismometer program was initiated and there are now about 8 operating seismometers in Georgia’s high schools and colleges.  In the future (6-10 years), the U.S. Array network will visit Georgia and cover the state with seismometers every 70 km.  These systems in combination with an anticipated increase in educational seismometers will vastly improve the seismic coverage and ability to image the crust and upper mantle under Georgia.

Please join us for light refreshments at 4:15pm outside WSC 109.