There are many competing factors to consider when choosing the location of a seismic site, not the least of which is safety for the equipment. The Arizona Integrated Seismic Network (AISN) has suffered some heavy losses in the last six months from vandalism. Late in the fall we lost a station west of Phoenix from theft and more recently one of our solar panels down near Yuma was shot and destroyed.

As the AISN enters it’s third year in operation we are finding that costs associated with replacement equipment and servicing due to vandalism far outweigh the costs accrued by regular maintenance; a heartbreak considering this is probably the least productive way to exhaust a very limited budget. The usefulness of a network is based on the availability and quality of data coming from the seismic sites. With only a few people on hand to perform the necessary tasks to maintain a high fidelity network, vandalism like this costs us dearly.

It’s a sad story because everybody looses. A seismometer lifted from a vault is ruined unless powered down and locked appropriately. There isn’t a thriving black market for ancillary seismic equipment, and there’s nothing anyone can do with a busted solar panel. Each station is an important part of our network coverage and the components of each seismic site are most valuable operating as such.

Hopefully the rest of the year is kinder.

February 25, 2011 Lisa Linville