Editor's note: The EarthScope concept is the product of a large segment of the U.S. earth-science community that developed its components through a series of workshops. National and regional consortia funded by NSF (including IRIS, UNAVCO, DOSECC, and SCEC) and representatives from the USGS and NASA have provided overall coordination and advice to NSF through an ad hoc EarthScope Working Group. More information is available at http://www.earthscope.org/.

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Recent rapid advances in seismology, satellite technology, microelectronics, computing, oil-field techniques, communication, and information technology have opened new opportunities for earth scientists to probe our planet with greater precision and efficiency than...

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