Monday, March 07, 2011

Eskdalemuir Seismological Recording Station 2011

Eskdalemuir Seismological Recording Station 2011 on Saturday last, it forms part of Eskdalemuir Observatory which lies 2 miles south. Operatives, surrounded by sheep wait for the earth to move.
The station is operated by Güralp Systems Ltd on behalf of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Blacknest Seismological Group, which analyses the recordings from seismometers, including Eskdalemuir, as part of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) international monitoring system. The station monitors and records seismological signals arriving at the site, together with their time of arrival. This data is then analysed in conjunction with similar records obtained from similar stations around the world, and used to determine the source of those signals. Unlike naturally occurring seismological events, those originating from artificial sources, such as nuclear explosions, have a different pattern, or signature, and can be identified, together their general point of origin. Seismologists are able to discriminate between earthquakes and the large number of other signals such as quarry blasts, explosions, sonic booms, and collapses, which are recorded in addition to earthquakes.

The Eskdalemuir Seismological Recording Station is located in southern Scotland and has been in operation since 1962, making it the longest-operating steerable seismic array in the world. It is situated on the eastern side of the Langholm-Innerleithen road (B709) about 18 miles north of Langholm and two miles north of the Eskdalemuir meteorological observatory.
It comprises a recording laboratory, a seismological vault and an array of seismometers installed in pits spaced over an area 10 km square.
The seismological vault is about a quarter of a mile east south east of the laboratory, and the array lies to the east in the form of a cross, its centre, about 1½ miles from the laboratory. The latitude of the point of intersection of the two lines of the array is 55° 20' north and the longitude is 03° 09½' west.
- Quotation from Güralp Systems web site.

The group's seismologists solved the mystery of the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk. Claims had been made by the Russians that the initial damage to the submarine had been caused by a collision with a Royal Navy submarine. By analysing the recordings from seismometers, including the one operated at Eskdalemuir, the AWE team was able to prove that there was no collision. Instead there had been a small initial explosion, followed by a much larger one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I worked here for 5 years from 1993-98 with three other engineers. We maintained the cabling across the array and seismometers in pits also hardware in the station. Interesting work, but isolated. Five years was long enough.