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Upcoming changes in the operation of the NSF-funded Global Seismographic Network stations

Tags: gsn

World map showing location of GSN stations
Distribution of current GSN stations with respect to network code.

The Global Seismographic Network (GSN) is the ongoing collaboration of two U.S. federal government agencies, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), to establish and maintain a globally distributed, high-quality network of seismographs that record earthquakes and other seismic sources occurring anywhere on Earth. The network also provides data for research on earthquake processes and earth structure, for tsunami warning, and for monitoring for nuclear explosions.

Operational aspects of the NSF-funded IRIS / IDA (II) portion of the GSN will be transitioned from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)/Project IDA to the EarthScope Consortium. The FDSN network code will not change, nor will access to data. However, these changes may affect people connected by this network.

Operation of the II network has long been supported by the NSF, USGS, and UCSD. For many years the NSF has provided the primary operating funds for the II network via a series of awards—for the last ten years via the Seismological Facility for the Advancement of Geoscience (SAGE) award to the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS). IRIS, in turn, funded the UCSD/Project IDA activities via a subaward. Project IDA, a special program of UCSD, contributed equipment purchased by the Cecil and Ida Green Foundation for Earth Sciences, originally led the research, engineering, and installation of the II network of the GSN and acted as its operator for the past several decades.

EarthScope Consortium honors the effort and persistence over these decades by the Project IDA staff in operating high-quality stations and providing open data. However, in a changing funding and technical environment, the current subaward arrangement is no longer tenable and EarthScope will transition operations to a model where it assumes direct responsibility for the IRIS/IDA network stations. As operator of SAGE, EarthScope assumes and continues IRIS’ overall responsibility for the GSN IRIS/IDA (II) stations.

GSN station operations will largely continue under UCSD/Project IDA leadership through September 2024, with a sequence of changes in data collection, station visits, and focus on equipment upgrades beginning in July 2024. By December 2024, the EarthScope Consortium will assume full network operations responsibility for all IRIS/IDA stations.

EarthScope Consortium and Project IDA are following a well-developed transition plan with the goal to minimize impact on data quality or the performance of the GSN. Questions can be directed to EarthScope is in the process of contacting GSN station operators individually and we encourage them to reach out to the above email address.