PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: Re: Representative stations?
From: Brett Nordgren brett3nt@.............
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 08:02:46 -0400


As was previously suggested, the more stations the better.  By using 
large arrays of stations much more can be known about the velocities 
of the various earthquake waves as they move through the earth, which 
allows them to produce something like a CAT scan of its interior.  If 
you wanted to monitor the wave velocities in the vicinity of a fault, 
such an array might help, except that you don't have large quakes 
every day to generate the needed test signals.

A nice visualization of the wave motion from the Sendai quake as it 
traverses the USArray is 
at   You 
can see how much more information you get from the array, currently 
located in the center of the US, than from the permanent backbone 
stations scattered around elsewhere.  Such arrays allow, among many 
other things, the plotting of the energy release over time from a 
large quake.  Scroll down 
on   to see the 
results of USArray data showing how the Sendai quake evolved.  Makes 
the interesting point that the epicenter (hypocenter) of a quake is 
just the point where it started, not necessarily where most of its 
energy came from.


At 05:47 AM 3/15/2011, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>In seismology, is there a concept of a 'representative station', a
>station that collects very similar information to others? Or is the
>information from *every* station just as valuable (informative) as all
>the others?
>Are there lists of representative stations?
>If I were the funding god, and I told you to axe all but 20, 50, 200,
>or 500 stations, which stations would you choose to keep and why?
>My thinking is that 10 stations in one relatively small area must be
>collecting similar data, and you can (perhaps) represent *nearly* all
>10 by picking just one of them (the most 'representative' one). Each
>'new' station must add more information, but at some point, the amount
>of information gain from each additional station must plateau.
>Does any of that make any sense?
>Who should I be asking this question of?


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