Mengcheng National Geophysical Observatory (MENGO)

  • Before approved as National Geophysical Observatory by Ministry of Science and Technology of China  (MOST) in May,2007, Mengo had two components, one is seismological observatory at University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), and the other is Mengcheng Seismological Observatory. The latter was built in 1976. MENGO is owned by Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) and China Earthquake Administory (CEA), and managed by USTC and Anhui Earthquake Administration. According to the strategic plan of MOST, National Geophysical Observatory is fundamental base of field observation for physical sciences, and can provide vital data for national economic development, hazard mitigation , diplomacy and national defense.

    MENGO is located in north-western Anhui province, which borders North China Block, Yangtze block , Qingling-Dabie mountain belt and the famous Tanlu fault. As Tanlu fault is an active fault, many strong earthquakes have occurred on this fault in the past four hundred years, with the strongest one in 1668 as M8 event. Therefore this observatory is ideal for monitoring geophysical activities at all these important tectonic elements. Moreover, as near space observation becomes indispensible for space industry and defense, atmospheric observation at altitude of 20-100km has been focus of atmosphere dynamics studies. Since there are very few atmospheric observatories at middle latitude, MENGO is a vital node in the observatory line of near space observation of China.

    Featuring high quality seismological, geomagnetic, geo-electric, geodetic and atmospheric instruments, MENGO is certified as national base station of CEA and solar-geophysical network of CAS. The seismological equipments include long period, broadband and short period seismometers, used in vault monitoring or portable purposes. Also MENGO serves as backup data center of Anhui Seismological Network, and is one of the four nodes of national seismic data share system. The observatory has 1-meter Rayleigh-Sodium laser radar, and mobile wind measurement laser radar.

    Research team of MENGO consists of dozen of professors, one of them is Academician member of Chinese Academy of Science. These professors work on space physics, atmosphere dynamics, seismology and geodynamics. The observation team consists of more than ten staff technicians and graduate students. Since 1976, MENGO has accumulated large quantify of high quality analog and digital geophysical data, which are very valuable for basic geophysical studies in China.

    Figure 1, Tectonic settings of eastern China. Tanlu fault is at about 2400km in China, along twice that of the San Andreas. This fault controls tectonic evolution of eastern China. Qingling Dabie belt separates North China Block and Yangtze block, and is focus of studies on China tectonics.

    Figure 2. Bird’s eye view of MENGO. This observatory is situated in remote area, and little affected by industrial noises, hence with perfect environment for geophysical observation.


    Figure 3.   High quality instrument for geomagnetic observations.