GNS Science is New Zealand's leading provider of Earth, geoscience and isotope research and consultancy services. It has a duty to government and the people to track, trace and analyse every tremor to hit the Shaky Isles. It does this by operating the GeoNet project, funded by the Earthquake Commission, to monitor all geological hazards in New Zealand.
For earthquakes, this is handled cost-effectively and with the highest reliability by outsourcing the specialised technology requirements for its SeisComP3 system to Umbrellar, New Zealand’s proven provider of high-availability (HA) hosting services.
Kevin Fenaughty, GeoNet Data Centre Manager at GNS Science, explains that while the organisation has its own data centre, the SeisComP3 system must be extraordinarily reliable. “Earthquakes don’t keep office hours. They can and do strike at any time of the day and night.
With SeisComP3 presently in public beta, he explains how it works. “We have a network of some 180 seismometers countrywide. These take measurements 100 times every second; that data is fed into our data collection centres at Avalon and Taupo; from there it is sent to the SeisComP3 system, hosted in Umbrellar's data centre.” This mass of data – some 5GB every day – is constantly monitored and analysed, providing insight and greater understanding into the forces which are shaping the country and which very often shape the nation’s zeitgeist, too.
That information is shared rapidly using a full range of communication services, including social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.