The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Stillwater Mining Company worked
cooperatively with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology to develop a system that would collect seismic data
at the Stillwater and East Boulder mines. The purpose was to obtain baseline information on the magnitude and
location of mining-induced seismicity to determine if the mines needed multi-channel in-mine monitoring systems.
Seismic data recorded at field sites near the mines are being telemetered via FM radio through a series of repeaters
to a central recording site where the seismic signals are digitized using an Earthworm data acquisition system. The
Earthworm system performs several data analysis tasks in near-real time and places raw seismic data, preliminary
hypocenter locations, and magnitudes on a Website within 5 min of a seismic event. Such rapid access to seismic
data allows personnel at the Stillwater Mine, Spokane Research Laboratory, and Earthquake Studies Office to
evaluate seismic events quickly and respond in ways that may improve the safety of mine personnel underground.
Installation of the system also broadened earthquake coverage to south-central Montana, a region previously not
covered by the seismograph network.
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