About EarthScope

EarthScope Program was a multi-decade effort to explore the structure and evolution of the North American continent. It was a program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) that has deployed thousands of seismic, GPS, and other geophysical instruments to study the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the processes that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It involves collaboration between scientists, educators, policy makers, and the public to learn about and apply exciting scientific discoveries as they are made. ANGLE is one of many research and educational project funded by EarthScope Project to ensure that residents across the USA can benefit from our increased knowledge of geoscience and geohazards.

EarthScope Project had two observatories active in Alaska.

  • The Plate Boundary Observatory (which is now called Network of the Americas) has deployed scores of high precision GPS receivers capable of measuring millimeter-scale motions of Earth's crust. These instruments along with strainmeters and tiltmeters help us learn about plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes and could aid in earthquake and tsunami early warning systems.
  • The USArray was a network of seismometers and other instruments designed to help us better understand the structure of the crust and mantle. It also provides unprecedented insights into earthquake physics, volcanic processes, active tectonics, and continental structure and evolution.

Although the EarthScope Project is ended, many of the installed instruments are still operating and are being run by the EarthScope Consortium. EarthScope Consortium formed in January 2023 through the merger of UNAVCO and IRIS, which had previously run Plate Boundary Observatory and USArray.