Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory Celebrates 50 Years of Service

The US Geological Survey's (USGS) Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory (ASL) recently celebrated its first 50 years of service to the nation and the international seismological community. The ASL was originally established as the central facility for the deployment of the World-Wide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN). Over the years, ASL has deployed seismograph stations all over the world as part of multiple seismographic networks, including the Global Seismographic Network, a cooperative partnership between IRIS and the USGS and coordinated with the international community.

More than 200 people gathered at the ASL facility on the Isleta Pueblo lands near Albuquerque, New Mexico, on June 15, to mark this milestone. A number of speakers, including Deanna Archuleta, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, Marcia McNutt, Director of the USGS, Richard Berry, Mayor of Albuquerque, and Frank Luhan, Governor of Isleta Pueblo, highlighted some of ASL's many contributions to seismology and the community. Lind Gee, the USGS Scientist-in-Charge of the ASL, served as the Master of Ceremonies.

As a symbol of the appreciation from IRIS and the academic community, IRIS created an amazing four-decade "seismogram" showing the complete record of digital data recorded at the ASL (under the station names ALQ and ANMO) from 1972 to 2011. The seismogram, plotted "helicorder style", provided a unique view of the last 40 years of global seismicity. The record was a compelling demonstration of both the high-quality seismic recordings made at ASL, and the comparative sizes of routine earthquakes and the several great earthquakes that have occurred in the last 10 years.

The photo below shows the presentation of the 40-year seismogram. From left to right are Bob Hutt, past Scientist-in-charge of ASL, Jon Peterson, past Scientist-in-charge (ret.) of ASL, Bob Woodward, IRIS, David Simpson, IRIS, and Lind Gee, Scientist-in-charge of ASL.


Marcia McNutt, Director of the USGS

Jim Devine, USGS

Bob Engdahl, University of Colorado/USGS (ret.)

Jim Whitcomb, National Science Foundation