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Rev Sci Instrum. 2008 Mar;79(3):034502. doi: 10.1063/1.2829989.

A silica long base tiltmeter with high stability and resolution.

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Géosciences Montpellier, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France.


In order to be able to provide valuable data in multiparameter measurement field operations, tiltmeters need to have a noise level better or equal than 10(-9) rad for a period range from a few minutes to a few years and a long term stability ranging from 10(-7) to 10(-8) rad/yr. Tiltmeter measurements should also be as much as possible insensitive to thermal disturbances, by taking great care of the horizontality of the base line tube first. Secondly, thermal responses have been assessed. We also took great care of the coupling of our tiltmeters with the bedrock. We've designed a long base tiltmeter with sensors in silica which has a low dilatation coefficient. The linear variable displacement transducer is based on coil coupling (powered by an alternative voltage). Finally we show the results of two 100 m silica water tube tiltmeters which were installed in a mine in the French Vosges massif in the framework of a hydrology research project. These instruments show a remarkably good stability (6.5x10(-9) rad/month) and a low noise level (of the order of 10(-11) rad). Toroidal and spheroidal free modes of the Earth were observed after the two last major earthquakes on Sumatra.


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