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Title14 400 boxes of seismograms lost and found: current status of the Canadian Analog Seismogram Collection
AuthorBent, A L; Coyle, K AORCID logo; Cassidy, J FORCID logo
Source27th International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics General Assembly, abstracts; IUGG19-0681, 2019 p. 1 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20190006
PublisherInternational Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
MeetingIUGG19 - 27th International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics General Assembly; Montreal, QC; CA; July 8-18, 2019
DocumentWeb site
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®); html
Subjectsgeophysics; Science and Technology; history; seismology; seismographs; seismological network; data collections; earthquakes; seismic data; Canadian Analog Seismogram Collection; Explosions
ProgramCanadian Hazard Information Service
Released2019 07 01
AbstractCanada's first seismograph began operation in 1897. The number of stations gradually increased to 30 by 1970 and to nearly 200 at present. The transition from an analog to a digital network took place primarily during the 1980s. Despite the loss of many seismograms over the decades, the Canadian analog seismogram collection is estimated to consist of about one million records spanning nearly a century. The location and status of the collection have changed several times, occasionally resulting in confusion over ownership. In 2017, it was discovered that the building housing the collection, slated to close in 2018, had actually closed in 2014 and no one seemed able to verify whether the collection had been moved or destroyed. Through persistent and tenacious questioning, the seismograms were eventually found safe and sound. They are housed in a climate-controlled facility with safeguards against hazards such as fire and flood, which will slow but not completely prevent the deterioration of these fragile paper records. Pressure to dispose of the collection has currently ceased but access to the data is complicated. The seismograms, which contain a wealth of underutilized information about earthquakes, explosions and other phenomena, cannot be fully exploited in their analog state. Attempts to microfilm the collection in the 1970s were not greatly successful. Improvements made to scanning hardware and digitizing software in recent years are promising but scanning and digitizing one million seismograms remains a daunting task. Nevertheless, it is a long-term goal and we are exploring avenues to facilitate it.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The current Canadian seismograph network consists entirely of digital stations. There is a collection of nearly one million paper seismograms from historical, analog seismograph stations in Canada. They contain a wealth of information about past earthquakes, explosions and other phenomena that cannot be fully utilized unless the records are scanned and digitized. This paper discusses the challenges of storing and digitizing the large data collection.

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