GIS, Site Analysis & Mapping
EarthScope (ES) is a major earth science initiative funded by the National Science
Foundation in partnership with other agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (www.earthscope.org).
One of EarthScope’s goals is to contribute to the mitigation of risks from geological
hazards, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, on the North American continent.
IAGT focused its efforts on assisting UNAVCO (www.unavco.org)
with the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) component of the EarthScope project.
IAGT Auburn-based staff performed spatial analyses and created hardcopy map products
in support of PBO’s siting and permitting operations.
IAGT continues to work with IRIS (www.iris.edu)
on the USArray component of the ES project to assist with technical issues related
to integrating GIT technology in their siting operations and status reporting activities.
IAGT created a two-tiered siting analysis procedure that defines the best locations
to install the USArray instruments.
IAGT performs the analysis and presents the results at the Siting Workshops USArray
holds each year. Plans are to continue
this work in the coming years as the ES project progresses eastward.
IAGT also supported both operational and general information needs by creating web-based
applications. The EarthScope Interactive
Mapper displays the planned and actual site locations and status of all ES facilities
in an interactive mapping interface. The EarthScope Suggest-A-Site website
displays the general planned site locations and allows any land owner to submit
a request to have the instruments installed on their land. These applications are
intended to serve a broad user community consisting of ES managers, scientists,
educators, and the general public.
IAGT also provided both locally-based and on-site GIS support to the ES headquarters
in Washington, D.C. to create various geospatial graphics for incorporation in ES
publications, presentations, congressional briefings, and other education and outreach
efforts. In addition, IAGT was an active participant on the ES working group
responsible for developing ES data format and data access standards.
IAGT staff has been directly involved in supporting the USArray siting
workshops that were held in Austin, Texas and in Omaha,
Nebraska. The purpose of these siting workshops was to instruct university students
on the methodology for site reconnaissance for about 200 future USArray sites in
Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
At both workshops, IAGT’s primary role was to compile supporting GIS data to assist
in the reconnaissance, instruct students on how to use the data and software together,
and work with the students in the preparation of field maps. Based on lessons learned
from previous workshops, IAGT continues to make improvements for the workshops and
the support is always well received. The students were especially pleased with the
subject-focused introduction to GIS, the large format Landsat-based site maps, and
portable USB hard drives that contained area-specific GIS data sets.