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INL Seismic Monitoring Program

The INL Seismic Monitoring Program documents earthquake activity on and around the Snake River Plain in the vicinity of the INL. To achieve this, the INL acquires earthquake data from 27 seismic stations, 32 strong-motion accelerographs, and 13 Global Positioning System (GPS) stations. INL seismologists analyze the earthquake data to provide information on earthquake sources, regions of seismic activity, crustal structure, rock properties, energy dissipation (or attenuation) characteristics of the subsurface, and levels of ground shaking. Earthquake data acquired by the INL Seismic Monitoring Program are used to evaluate seismic hazards at INL.

The INL Seismic Monitoring Program provides earthquake data and staff expertise to support requirements set forth by Presidential executive orders; DOE directives, orders, and standards; and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for seismic safety of workers and the public; structures, systems, and components; and operations of reactors and waste management activities at INL. The program supports safety of operations through the following:

  • Continuous monitoring of earthquake activity

  • Early warning of a potential volcanic eruption

  • Assessments of seismic hazards for new and existing facilities

  • Development of INL seismic design criteria.

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Earthquake Activity

INL records earthquake data to develop an historical earthquake database.

INL Seismic Monitoring Capabilities

INL acquires earthquake data using seismic stations, accelerographs, and GPS receivers.

Seismic and Volcanic Hazards

INL earthquake data are used in seismic and volcanic hazards assessments.

Products and Research

The INL Seismic Monitoring Program is supported by two seismologists and two seismic technicians.

Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office