The on-line operation of an automatic event detector has been evaluated at the Tonto Forest Observatory short-period seismic array. For 31 seismometers and one fixed threshold, the 90 percent incremental detection threshold on the Kuril Island beam, centered at Delta = 70 degrees, is m b = 4.15 + or - .05 with an experimentally determined false alarm rate of 0.17 per day. This compares favorably with the capabilities of a human operator. Storms in the Kurils significantly affect the distribution of amplitudes of the F-statistic detection trace, and we estimate that most of the false alarms observed at the operating threshold can be traced to the statistical bias introduced by this storm-generated energy. If the threshold were adjusted to maintain a constant false alarm rate, the maximum effect on the threshold magnitude would be 0.05m b .

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