- © 2011 by the Seismological Society of America
The Global Seismographic Network (GSN) (Figure 1) plays a key role in providing seismic data for global earthquake monitoring (e.g., Benz et al. 2005), earthquake science (e.g., Tsai et al. 2005), and studies of Earth structure (e.g., Dalton et al. 2008). One of the key GSN design goals is to “provide high fidelity digital recordings of all teleseismic ground motions (adequate to resolve at or near ambient noise up to the largest teleseismic signals over the bandwidth from free oscillations (10-4 Hz) to teleseismic body waves (up to approximately 15 Hz))” (GSN ad hoc Design Goals Subcommittee 2002). To help meet this goal, Streckeisen STS-1 seismometers were deployed at 80 GSN stations.
Some of the GSN sensors have been deployed for more than 25 years. Several recent studies (Davis et al. 2005; Ekström et al. 2006; Davis and Berger 2007) have examined the question of overall calibration of the GSN. Ekström et al. (2006) indicated that a number of sites showed anomalous responses and suggested a gradual decay in the sensitivity.
We have investigated the anomalous responses at several GSN sites. At least some of the problems observed by Ekström et al. (2006) may be attributed to humid air leaking into the feedback electronics of the STS-1 seismometers, which produces lower than normal sensitivities near the long-period corner of the instrument (360 seconds period). It appears that even though the feedback electronics boxes are designed to be sealed, water vapor can penetrate their interior after they have been exposed to highly humid seismometer vault air for extended periods. Highly humid air was also found to be present inside some STS-1 bell-jars (especially horizontal instruments) after loss of vacuum, resulting in corrosion and leakage between electrical conductors in connectors. This also resulted in a lowered …