A Policy for Rapid Mobilization of USGS OBS (RMOBS)

Introduction: What is RMOBS?

RMOBS is an opportunity provided by the USGS for rapid mobilization of ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) to monitor unanticipated seismic events such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions in the coastal and marine environments. This opportunity recognizes the potential societal and scientific return from studies of aftershocks of a significant earthquake or volcanic sources. It represents a natural and responsible effort by the USGS to provide an emergency response to natural hazards.

The USGS maintains sixteen OBS at the National OBS Instrument Facility (OBSIP) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). These OBS are equipped with three-component short-period (4.5 Hz) fully gimbaled (3 axes) seismometers on an external arm and a hydrophone. They are equipped with the Quanterra 330 data logger and have a wide (135 dB) dynamic range. They are light (100 lb.) and small, can be air shipped, and can be deployed from small vessels opportunities. Five of these OBS are dedicated to RMOBS.

Potential RMOBS Sites

Alaska Volcanoes
Written by John Power
Continental Borderland Offshore Southern California
Written by Douglas Given, Lucy Jones, Egill Hauksson
Mendocino Triple Junction offshore northern California
Written by David Oppenheimer

USGS Policy and Resources

Obligations of RMOBS Participants

Criteria for Supporting an RMOBS

Contact Information