ONR OBS Facility at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, La Jolla, CA

Welcome to the Ocean-Bottom Seismometer Facility established at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Here you will find information about the ONR OBS instruments, experiment scheduling, as well as links to other sources of related information.


What are ONR OBSs?

They are autonomous seismic recording instruments which are dropped to the seafloor, where they record data and return to the sea surface upon acoustic recall. Simply put, they perform the functions of a seismic observatory while resting on the sea floor.

To further Navy needs and to serve the broader scientific community, ONR supported the design and construction of the instruments and established instrument two centers; One at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the other at The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Both centers maintain fleets of Ocean-Bottom Seismographs (OBSs) and associated equipment as a shared resource for use by the members of the scientific community (Jacobson and others, 1991). The facilities are operated on a self-supporting basis, with support from the marine programs of the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.

This is what they look like.

Figure 1. Elevation view of OBS Figure 2. Plan view of OBS Figure 3. OBS Launch Figure 4. OBS Over Water

OBS Experiment Schedule

Past, present and planned Experiments


Contact Information

If you have questions about ONR OBS equipment or experiments contact:

LeRoy M. Dorman
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0215
Voice:  (619)534-2406 Fax:      (619)534-6849
Email:  ldorman@ucsd.edu

The Chief Engineer of the OBS program is:

Allan W. Sauter
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0215
Voice:  (619)534-3435 Fax:      (619)534-6849
Email:  asauter@ucsd.edu

OBS Instruments and Equipment

  • Broadband sensors NEW DEVELOPMENT
  • History
  • General Description
  • Usage
  • Comparison with other U.S. OBSs
  • Evolution of OBS systems

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