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GNDT-SN1 Project

Design and development of a seismic monitoring and alarm underwater network in areas highly exposed to seismic risk - Development of a first node in Eastern Sicily (SN-1)
January 2000
December 2002


ING - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica (Coordinatore), Italia
Università Roma III, Italia
Università Messina, Italia
Università Catania, Italia
Università Palermo, Italia
OGS - Istituto Nazionale per l’Oceanografia e la Geofisica Sperimentale, Italia
IIV - Istituto Internazionale di Vulcanologia – CNR, Italia
Tecnomare SpA, Italia
Technische Fachhochschule Berlin, Germania
Technische Universitat Berlin, Germania
Geomar, Germania


The project was aimed at establish a multiparameter seafloor observatory off-shore eastern Sicily and create the conditions of an optimal exploitation of the observatory data through revision of tectonic, geodynamic and seismicity frame of the eastern Sicily from the Tyrrhenian coasts to the southernmost Ionian coasts. The observatory data themselves are used for the knowledge updating and are analysed to demonstrate the increased monitoring capacity of a land-marine network. 

The realization of SN-1 benefits from experiences previously developed in design and manifacturing of autonomous multidisciplinary seafloor observatories  during the GEOSTAR project.

Figure 1
The SN1 observatory - The SN1 deployment site

Accordingly, the project was based on technological and scientific research components and had the following general objectives:

  • Development and deployment of a deep-sea multiparameter observatory (SN-1) for at least 6 months off-shore Eastern Sicily and validation of the system through the observatory data quality control and analysis;
  • Revision and updating of the knowledge of the tectonics, geodynamics and seismicity, of the Eastern Sicily and western Ionian Sea area through combination of traditional (e.g., tomography) and new methodologies and techniques of data analysis to already data available from other studies and through the acquisition of new observations also in marine areas.
  • Evaluation of the improvement in earthquake locations determined by the integration of land network data and marine network data in sample areas of the north eastern Sicily using data from previous seafloor seismological monitoring campaigns.
Sensor Model Sampling Rate
Scientific package installed on SN-1 observatory
Three- comp. broad band seismometer Guralp CMG-1T 100 sample/s
Hydrophone OES E-2PD 80 Hz
Gravity-meter Prototype deveoped by IFSI-CNR 1 sample/s
Three component single-point currentmeter

Falmouth 3ACM-CBP-D

2 sample/s

Conductivity, Temperature and Temperature sensor (CTD) SeaBird SBE-37 1 sample/12 min

The deployment and recovery operations confirmed the complete feasibility and reliability of the observatory management from the sea surface through MODUS down to more than 2100 m w.d.. Monthly inspections during the mission on the deployment site by means of a ship of opportunity allowed the check of the observatory functioning through the acoustic communication system.

Figura 2 The SN-1 observatory during the recovery operations on board the Urania R/V
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