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Our Work

    What is the Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN)?

The Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN) is part of the Department of Geology of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez. Our mission is to detect, process and investigate the seismic activity in the region of Puerto Rico and to report opportunely the results for purposes of public security, education, engineering and scientific research.

     The PRSN was set up in 1974 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). The principal objective of the network was to evaluate the local seismicity for the construction of the Aquirre and Islote nuclear power plants. These goals were accomplished in 1979. Between 1982 and 1987 the Seismic Network was operated by the Center for Energy and Environment Research. In 1987 it was transferred to the Department of Geology of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez.

     In September 1991, the Seismic Data Acquisition System (Tottingham and Lee, 1989) IASPEI was installed, it replaced the INTEL Magnetic Tape Data Acquisition System of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, University of Columbia. In addition to this one, in June 1992 the SOUFRIERE Data Acquisition System of the Seismic Research Unit of the University of the West Indies at Trinidad was installed. Both systems recorded seismic data continuously from the short period stations on a separate PC which was set up for this purpose. Once a day, or whenever a major event occurred, the data was transferred via modem from the San Juan Geophysical Observatory in Cayey, to the Seismic Network Office in Mayagüez. During february 1997 data acquisition digital systems, as well as seismographs, were transfered to the Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez, making faster our response in felt event cases. Since September 1999, the PRSN has updated its Data Processing and Acquisition systems, when the IASPEI and SOUFRIERE systems were substituted by the digital data acquisition system ViSeis, along with analysis programs PRLOC, DIMAS and PITSA.

     The Seismic Network presently consists of 25 seismic stations classified as short period and broadband stations depending on the type of sensor or seismometer used to register earthquakes. Two of the stations belong to the Army Corps of Engineers of the United States. These devices are installed in Puerto Rico, US and BritishVirgin Islands, working together with 3 relay stations and a center for data collection.

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