U.S./U.S.S.R. seismological network developing



In the spirit of glasnost, the first stage of a state-of-the-art seismological network for global research on Earth structure, earthquakes, and seismic monitoring of nuclear testing is now operating in the Soviet Union, thanks to cooperation between several U.S. and Soviet groups and agencies. Digitally recorded seismic data have been generally unavailable from the Soviet Union prior to the new agreement, leaving an essentially uninstrumented hole in the largest continent on Earth. In 1988 the Soviet Academy agreed to a joint research program with the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and the U.S. Geological Survey that called for the establishment of 20–25 permanent seismic stations and the operation of portable seismic networks in each country. The U.S. State Department approved the incorporation of the seismic program, now called the Eurasian Seismic Studies Program, under Area IX (Earthquake Prediction) of the Bilateral U.S./U.S.S.R. Environmental Protection Agreement. The network is operated by IRIS, a consortium of over 60 American universities, the USGS, and the Institute of Physics of the Earth (IPE) of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Principal project scientists are Jonathan Berger, a geophysicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and John Filson, a seismologist at USGS.