Eskdalemuir Seismological Station

Seismological Station associated with Eskdalemuir Observatory
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Seismological Station associated with Eskdalemuir Observatory

A measurement station located alongside the B709 road in upper Eskdale, the Eskdalemuir Seismological Station is located 5 miles (8 km) north of Eskdalemuir. It comprises two modern buildings in a compound and is generally unmanned. These buildings control a seismic array which comprises two perpendicular lines of ten equally-spaced short-period seismometers, located in the hills to the east, each line being approximately 5½ miles (9 km) in length. The station was established by the UK Atomic Energy Authority in 1962 as the British contribution to an international network intended to identify and locate underground nuclear tests and, later, monitor compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In addition to recording earthquakes, seismic arrays are able to record the unique signature associated with nuclear explosions. The station was constructed here because of the low natural seismicity. However, concern was expressed in 2014 that the measurements taken here were being affected by vibrations coming from wind farms, located up to 30 miles (50 km) distant.

In the 1990s, this station was operated by the British Geological Survey, who also run the Eskdalemuir Observatory that lies 2 miles (3 km) to the south. Since 2002, the station has been operated by a commercial company on behalf of the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment. By 2015, the British Geological Survey still retained access to the array and were undertaking a number of joint research projects.

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