ABSTRACT

Seismometer deployments are often confined to near the Earth’s surface for practical reasons, despite the clear advantages of deeper seismometer installations related to lower noise levels and more homogeneous conditions. Here, we describe a 3D broadband seismometer array deployed at the inactive Homestake Mine in South Dakota, which takes advantage of infrastructure originally setup for mining and is now used for a range of scientific experiments. The array consists of 24 stations, of which 15 were underground, with depths ranging from 300 ft (91 m) to 4850 ft (1478 m), and with a 3D aperture of 1.5  km in each direction, thus spanning a 3D volume of about 3.4  km3. We describe unique research opportunities and challenges related to the 3D geometry, including the generally low ambient noise levels, the strong coherency between observed event waveforms across the array, and the technical challenges of running the network. This article summarizes preliminary results obtained using data acquired by the Homestake array, illustrating the range of possible studies supported by the data.

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