The USArray Transportable Array as a Platform for Weather Observation and Research
Tytell, Jonathan ; Vernon, Frank ; Hedlin, Michael ; de Groot Hedlin, Catherine ; Reyes, Juan ; Busby, Bob ; Hafner, Katrin ; Eakins, Jennifer
Année de publication
The USArray Transportable Array (TA), a component of the National Science Foundation’s EarthScope Initiative, has proven to be a successful model for large-scale real-time monitoring networks. Approximately 400 stations are deployed simultaneously in the continental United States on a nominal Cartesian grid across an area of approximately 2,000,000 km2. Each station was originally designed to operate autonomously as a seismic observing platform capable of recording and transmitting data at 1 and 40 samples per second in real time. The expansion of onboard instrumentation to include surface atmospheric pressure sensors improved the USArray’s real-time capability in monitoring the atmosphere and weather phenomena at the same sample rates. Though not a traditional weather monitoring station, the combination of these seismic and pressure sensors at each TA station can contribute to the observation of surface weather phenomena and has facilitated broader-scale observational applications. Twenty-five TA stations have a Vaisala WXT520 weather station installed in order to create an observational array of “full meteorological” (full-met) stations. Meteorological phenomena have been recorded in high detail, including a data quality comparison between a pair of TA and National Weather Service (NWS) stations, a gust-front passage, rainfall measurements following a squall-line passage, and a near pass of a tornado by one station. Additional products have been constructed from the TA data for visualization and research purposes. The large spatial extent and station configuration of the TA network increases the probability for making high-resolution recordings of data from rare encounters with atmospheric events.