Citizen Seismology in the Arctic
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFrontiers in Earth Science. 2020, 8, 139 10.3389/feart.2020.00139
Landslides, earthquakes and other natural disasters are expected to increase in the Arctic, yet our ability to make informed decisions about safety is tightly limited by lack of data. As part of the Integrated Arctic Observation System (INTAROS) project, geophones were installed by residents in Greenland and by University of Bergen in Svalbard in 2018. The purpose of the installations was to explore challenges and benefits of community-based data collection for seismological monitoring in the Arctic region. Raspberry Shake units with one/three-component velocity sensors were selected for the deployment, due to their user-friendly configuration, easy installation, and well established digital platform and web services. The purpose of engaging community members in the use of geophone sensors was to monitor earthquakes, cryoseisms (events generated by ice mass), and landslides. We report our findings with respect to challenges regarding the installation and operation of the Raspberry Shake sensors at both locations. Connecting community-based recordings with permanent seismological networks improved both the detection capability and the data support for understanding seismic events in Greenland. In contrast, finding suitable locations for deployments in Longyearbyen turned out to be challenging, because most buildings are constructed on poles due to the permafrost and indoor space is expensive. Promoting citizen seismology in the Arctic could improve monitoring of seismic events in the Arctic while simultaneously raising community awareness of natural hazards.