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  • 70 Years of Seismology at DTM

    Shaun Hardy and Louis Brown Carnegie Institution for Science

    Neighborhood Lecture Series April 25, 2019

  • 1948

    DTM seismic truck with instruments for recording waves from “artificial earthquakes.” Controlled explosions were set off across the Mid-Atlantic region to probe Earth’s crust.

  • Hypothetical crustal structure beneath Washington DC from DTM’s earliest explosion seismology experiments.


  • Detonation of depth charge from a Coast Guard cutter in Puget Sound during joint DTM-GL seismic experiment.


  • Seismic equipment set up on a railroad flatcar during DTM’s seismic expedition to Alaska and Yukon Territory.


  • Truck with seismic equipment and radio receiver deployed in Peru during the Carnegie Andes Expedition.


  • Explosion set off in an open-pit copper mine in Peru for Carnegie’s seismological studies of the Andes

    during the International Geophysical Year.


  • DTM cooperative seismic network for the study of local earthquakes. Nineteen stations were installed

    in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.


  • 1962

    Short-period vertical seismograph designed by DTM for use in South American seismic network. Data could be recorded for up to one week without intervention.

  • 1963

    DTM-built horizontal-motion seismometer used in South American seismic network.

  • 1963

    South American scientists at DTM for a 2-month long intensive seminar determine earthquake epicenters

    using a “ping-pong table” analog computer.

  • 1966

    First broad-band, large dynamic range seismometer designed at DTM by Selwyn Sacks.

  • 1971

    Alan Linde, Selwyn Sacks, and Shigeji Suyehiro search for seismic events on DTM broadband seismograph tapes.

  • 1971

    Selwyn Sacks, Shigeji Suyehiro, and Michael Seemann assemble a borehole strainmeter – a device developed by Sacks and Dale

    Evertson for measuring minute deformation in the Earth.

  • Installing DTM borehole strainmeters at Matsushiro Observatory, Japan (1971) and 3.2 km underground

    in a South African gold mine (1978).


  • 1978

    Strain record of a “slow” earthquake sequence in Japan – undetectable with seismometers but recorded

    by DTM borehole strainmeters (Alan Linde et al.)

  • 1994

    DTM’s Paul Silver (shown here in Bolivia) and colleagues pioneered the deployment of modern, portable

    broadband seismic arrays.

  • Iceland 1995

    Zimbabwe 1997

    Galapagos 2000

    South Africa 1998

    South Africa 1997

    Broadband seismometer installations around the world by DTM scientists and collaborators.


    Brazil 1993

  • 1997

    Mantle plume beneath Iceland imaged by seismic tomography from the ICEMELT experiment (Cecily Wolfe et al.)

  • 1997

    “Huddle test” of 40 three-component broadband seismometers in DTM testing facility (Rod Green,

    Randy Kuehnel, Adriana Kuehnel)

  • 1800-km long seismic array for study of the deep structure of the Kaapvaal Craton in southern Africa

    (David James, Paul Silver, et al.)


  • 2014

    Diana Roman deploys a BENTO2 seismic-monitoring box at Hekla Volcano, Iceland. Satellite telemetry enables continuous monitoring of volcanoes in remote areas.

  • 2016

    Lara Wagner with a Carnegie Quick Deploy Box (QDB) – a new, portable broadband seismometer small and light

    enough to be checked as airline luggage.

  • 2019

    DTM field seismologist Steven Golden tests a new broadband seismometer for array deployment on Vanuatu.