Seismic data

Latest plots

I operate three stations on the Raspberry Shake seismic network, R4989 in Orono, ME, R35E7 in Poland, ME, and RCB43 in Williamstown, MA, USA.
Browse the data archive.

All three stations are located in the seismically quiet New England region of the United States. R35E7, the station in Poland, ME, is located on the carapace of a glacial drumlin, likely within two meters of bedrock. R4989 is located on the loose sediment of a glacial landform called an esker, and is at least ten meters above bedrock. RCB43 is located on an unknown thickness of fluvial terrace and glacial Lake Bascom sediments. Stations further from bedrock are much more sensitive to surface environmental noise like passing vehicles. Small seismic events have been observed nearby, and major earthquake events (magnitude 6.5+) from around the world are detected at all of these stations.

Availability plot for today, 2018/02/24

Data availability plot

Plots are updated every other minute. All stations are located in basements about 50-100 feet from residential streets. Vehicles driving by at speed account for a large portion of the spikes seen in the data. Other potential sources of noise include washer/dryer vibration, indoor foot traffic, and cars entering and exiting the driveway. In the winter, snowplow noise may be the largest source of vibration detected at these stations on a given day. During the warmer months, lawnmower noise may be evident as well. The anthropogenic noise sources generally fall in the 10-20Hz range of the frequency spectrum as observed at this station. Earthquakes, should they be detected, will likely cover a larger (and lower) portion of the observable spectrum than the rest of the noise sources.

Plots rendered at 2018/02/25 01:14:48 UTC.
Page loaded at 2018/02/25 01:14:51 UTC.

Plot selection

R35E7 - Poland, Maine || R4989 - Orono, Maine || RCB43 - Williamstown, Massachusetts
Currently viewing plots for: AM.R35E7.00.EHZ
Search for a specific time and location in the data archive.

Spectrogram of the past five minutes (unfiltered):

A plot of energy density at given frequencies over time. Spectrogram z-axis (color) units are dimensionless.
Spectrogram plot

0.7 - 2 Hz bandpass:

Spectrogram plot

Helicorder plot since UTC 0000hrs:

Helicorder plot

0.7 - 2 Hz bandpass helicorder plot (can detect P waves from large, faraway earthquakes):

Helicorder plot of 0.7-2 Hz band

Seismicity maps:

East coast earthquakes, last 30 days

East coast earthquakes, last 30 days

More info

These plots are made with a combination of ObsPy and Matplotlib formatting. The spectrogram above scales based on the density of energy at the given frequency, based on a moving window with an overlap of 0.9/1. The helicorder plot resets every day at 0000hrs UTC. Traces plotted on the helicorder are scaled down by 800 and 70 respectively for readability, although this is subject to change as I get more familiar with the signatures of environmental noise that the geophone picks up.

RCB43 was moved to Williamstown, MA On December 21, 2017. Prior to that, it was located in West Poland, ME for the summer and fall of 2017, and Greenwich, CT, near the downtown area before that. On December 17, 2017, it was replaced in West Poland by R35E7, a model with a newer digitizer board and three geophone axes instead of one.

R06AC was brought online in November 2017 but flooded on January 15, 2018. R06AC was replaced by R4989 on February 3, 2018. It is located on what geologists call an esker—a hill composed of sand and gravel deposited by a stream that ran beneath a glacier. That glacier was the Laurentide Ice Sheet, a 3-4 kilometer thick blanket of ice that covered much of Canada and New England during the end of the last ice age, approximately 25-15 thousand years ago. What this means is that since esker sand and gravel is loose and less stable than bedrock, this station tends to be more noisy because it picks up a lot of vibration from passing cars and people walking around the house.