Mengcheng National Geophysical Observatory (MENGO)
Anhui Mengcheng National Geophysical Observatory (MENGO) is one of the first 14 national field scientific observation and research stations that were approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST) in 2007. The MENGO is cohosted by the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and the Anhui Earthquake Agency (AEA), under supervisions of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the China Earthquake Administration (CEA). After three years of construction, MENGO was officially founded on December 23, 2010.
MENGO is located on the west side of the Tanlu Fault Zone, at the foothills of Huangbai Mountain in Xiaojian Town, covering an area of 9,330 square meters with an elevation of 54 m. It is a national backbone seismic station constructed on Sinian sandstone.
Since the approval of the construction, with the strong support from the CEA and CAS, as well as the joint investments from USTC and AEA, MENGO has built monitoring buildings, geomagnetic rooms, and relocated technical facilities. In addition, new instruments have been equipped for observing borehole strain, electromagnetic waves, GNSS and so on. Some equipments including proton precession magnetometer, fluxgate theodolite, geoelectric field meter, and ground resistivity meter have been upgraded. Lighting protection has been improved and azimuth correction has been carried out. USTC has built a lidar laboratory at MENGO and installed a number of advanced high-tech observation and research instruments such as solar radio telescope, airglow imager, GNSS receiver，lidars, and meteor radar.
The MENGO includes two centers and six laboratories which are equipped with broadband seismometer, seismic data analyzer, sodium lidar , mobile Doppler lidar, meteor radar，lightning locator, airglow imager, and other advanced instruments. Based on the high-quality geographical conditions and advanced instruments, MENGO is able to monitor earthquakes of magnitude 1.0 or above within 100 kilometers in northern Anhui, magnitude 4 or above in the eastern region, and magnitude 5 or above in the western region. The MENGO has carried out more than 30 geophysical observations such as seismic measurement, electromagnetics, deformation, fluids, solar-terrestrial process, and undertook many field observation projects such as GPS and gravity, and achieved a number of important research work.
The various data produced by MENGO not only serve the seismic system, but also serve the universities and scientific research departments in Anhui and neighboring provinces and cities. MENGO monitors the movement of the two important structural boundaries of the Tanlu Fault Zone and the Qinling-Dabie Orogenic Belt, and accumulates observational data such as geoelectricity, geomagnetism, deformation and gravity over a long period of time, laying a solid foundation for the study of the evolution of these two major structural boundaries in China. MENGO also provides reliable data for seismic activity, earthquake prediction and geophysical research in Anhui and neighboring provinces. At the same time, by monitoring the physical processes in the mid- and high-altitude atmosphere, we are able to achieve comprehensive observations of the solid earth, atmosphere, and ionosphere. Using the obtained reliable solar-terrestrial observations, it is possible to study the response of the atmoshpere and ionosphere to the magnetic storms, the impact of space physical processes on GPS measurements, as well as and the impact of atmospheric motion on ultra-broadband seismometers. In order to promote seismic data sharing services, MENGO has also built an open data platform to facilitate the sharing of data.
The establishment of MENGO is of profound significance for scientific research, seismic risk mitigation and disaster reduction, public security, land planning, environmental protection and other undertakings. For instance, it can promote the study of geochemistry and geodynamics of the Qinling-Dabie orogenic belt; through the detection of faults in the Anhui section of the Tanlu fault zone, a high-precision three-dimensional seismic structure model of the region can be obtained, which can be used to determine the seismic activity since the Quaternary.
From 2013 to 2017, researchers from MENGO, as person in charge, have undertaken 158 projects including Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), 973, CAS, CEA, and provincial Department of Science and Technology, etc., with a total budget of 174.4 million yuan. In the same period, researchers from MENGO published a total of 299 scientific papers (including 258 SCI papers) in well-known international journals including Nature series, PNAS, EPSL, GRL, JGR, GJI, and received 15 authorized patents. From 2013 to 2017, the research work of the researchers at MENGO won three first prizes for scientific and technological progress at the military and provincial levels. MENGO was rated as 'Excellent' in the evaluation of the National Field Station in 2018 by MOST.