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The Office of Naval Research, together with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is pleased to announce the formation of two national Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) facilities. Recent advances in marine seismic and acoustic research, including whole Earth tomography, seismic refraction tomography, detailed passive seismology, high-resolution seismic refraction, and marine ambient noise studies, require a suite of identical calibrated seafloor instruments for analysis of array data collected by OBS capable of sustained deployment periods. Such instruments require a recording capability that is substantially improved in terms of bandwidth, recording capability, fidelity, and deployment duration over that possible just a few years ago.

Recognizing a deficiency in existing instrumentation, in 1987 ONR embarked on an effort to fund the design and construction of a new generation of OBS. Thirty-one instruments are now available for general use, and we encourage investigators to use the national OBS facilities as an effective means of acquiring state-of-the-art ocean floor seismic data. The two OBS facilities will be managed and operated on a joint institutional basis by WHOI and MIT, and SIO and UW, respectively. While the instruments will be managed and operated by the OBS facilities, ownership of the OBS will be retained by