A description is given of two fused-quartz extensometers located in mountain tunnels at Dalton Canyon and Isabella in Southern California and designed for observing long-period seismic-wave strains, earth tidal strains, and secular strains. They consist essentially of instruments for measuring and recording variations in the separation of two piers by comparison with a length standard of fused-quartz tubing. The sensitivity for secular strains, denned as the least detectable strain increment, is approximately 10−7. For tidal and seismic-wave strains, the sensitivity is higher—a 1-mm deflection of the recorder represents a strain increment of 5.2 × 10−10. In both cases the maximum usable sensitivity is limited by ground-strain unrest or noise, generated by wind, barometric-pressure variations, temperature variations of the surface layers of the ground, and variations in ground-water saturation.

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