Monday, September 29, 2008

Welcome Volunteer- Larry Walters 
   Last week, our resident post-doctoral fellow- Eric Walter's father, Larry, was visting. Earlier, we all welcomed Riley, son of Julie and Eric Walters, who was born during the big fires of July. Larry had yet to meet Riley. Well, Riley's grandfather and grandmother spent last week getting to know Riley. But of course, an infant of only 2-3 months has a lot of non-interactive time. So, to keep busy, Larry volunteered to scrape and paint the gutters of the Stucco House. What a great idea! Thank you, Larry! It was pretty hot, sometimes getting into the mid-90s, but Larry kept at it. We offered the airless paint sprayer, but Larry only used a 3" brush. He eventually made it all the way around the house and through several gallons of paint. It looks terrific. Several old layers of paint are now gone and the roof (see previous post) is now ready for the winter. Here is a photo of Larry working along. We appreciate the extra hands!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Earthquake Sensor Reports 6,017 quakes detected from Carmel Valley (2004-2007).
   Recently a large-scale system of earthquake detectors was deployed across the western US. Hastings was one of the first sites to host the instruments. Bob Busby from near Woods Hole arrived with a group from New Mexico Tech University back in 2004. His jolly crew thrashed around until they found a local backhoe operator (Lindsey Friday, I recall). They installed a vault with a wireless connection to the internet (above). At the bottom of the vault they installed sensitive motion detectors that measured up-down, east-west and north-south movements. Eventually they installed a vast array of these across California and west. The transportable array is moving east.
      These are so sensitive you can jump up and down a half mile from them and see the "needle" move on the graph. In 2007, they were removed, and replaced by Bill Karavas and Doug Neuhauser from the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory. 
EarthScope recently prepared a report that summarized the 3,693 relatively near (within within 100 km) earthquakes recorded from Carmel Valley. Link to the report here. Another 2,324 earthquakes were detected from as far away as Sumatra and Africa. Now that the "wave" of the sensors in the EarthScope project are moving east, we are pleased that the infrastructure continues to serve the people of California. You know when you hear of a report of an earthquake, and the radio or TV reports within minutes of where it occurred, you should know that Hastings' internet is providing a continuous recording or earth movements and makes these reports possible. Maybe not all that earthshaking, but we try to do our little part. The California state earthquake reporting system can be found here