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Soosalu Seismic Network of Estonia

Soosalu Seismic Network of Estonia

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Published by: Mäeinstituut on Jul 20, 2010
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HeiJi Soosolu (1) onJ AnJres Heinloo (2)
(1) Geoloqicol Survev o[ Lsronio, KoJo|o ree 82, 12618 Tollinn, Lsronio
(2) Geo[on, Teleqro[enberq, 14473 PorsJom, Germonv
The Estonian seismic network consists of three stations, Vasula (38.46` N, 26.73` E, also part
of the Geofon network), Suurupi (39.46` N, 24.38` E) and Matsalu (38.71` N, 23.81` E),
which have operated in this composition since 2006. Estonia is low-seismicity territory, with
an average of one detected local earthquake once in two years. However, occasional large
events do occur in the region, such as Osmussaar earthquake offshore Estonia in 1976 with
magnitude 4.6, and two events in Kaliningrad in 2004 with magnitudes 4.8 and 3.3.
We conduct a detailed analysis of local seismic events since January 2008. At the moment the
Estonian system is under construction and there is no automatic detection and location
procedure. We rely on detections by the seismic network of the Institute of Seismology at the
University of Helsinki (events with magnitudes > 1), and receive Finnish waveform data. In
the daily analysis we refine the phase picks of automatic locations of the Finnish system, add
the observations of the Estonian stations, and relocate the events.
Majority of detected seismic events within the territory of Estonia are blasts in oil shale
quarries and mines in the north-eastern corner of the country. Two principal quarries, Aidu
and Narva, provide us afterwards listings on timing of conducted blasts and the amount of
used explosives. This enables us to control the quality of our analysis. Aidu is located within
the combined seismic net including the southern half of Finland and Estonia, but Narva is
slightly off. According to our knowledge, oil shale in Aidu is at the moment mined at the
southern edge of the quarry. Indeed, also our event locations cluster in the known area of
activity. We do not know precisely currently exploited areas in Narva, but the event locations
are generally more scattered than those of Aidu.
Human activity involving mass displacement, mining included, may induce ground instability
with unexpected results. A recent example from NE Estonia is a night-time collapse in
disused mine shafts, which was recorded at the Estonian and Finnish seismic stations as a
magnitude-1.8 event. The signal was distinctly different from those of mining explosions,
having long duration and containing principally low frequencies (~0.7-2 Hz).
Currently, the main area of man-made seismicity is rather well monitored by the Estonian and
Finnish seismic stations. As a next step, we need to add focus in monitoring and studying
natural seismicity. This includes capability of detecting events in the order of magnitudes 0-2.
The detection threshold of the Finnish seismic stations becomes higher towards the south, and
considerable areas of Estonia are outside the triangle of the national network. In conclusion,
the near-future goals of the Estonian seismic network are: 1) Increasing the number of
stations, firstly with a station in the NE mining area and secondly with a station in the SE. 2)
Developing a national detection and location system. 3) Co-operating actively with
neighbouring countries, both in data exchange and in research.

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