Chosen for its remote location far from common cultural and seismic noise sources, the Lajitas area is an ideal location for testing state-of-the-art seismic equipment and techniques. Except for a few times a year, when the area receives visitors from movie companies filming nearby, or from participants in the world-class chilli cook-off, it holds the title of "The world's quietest seismic site".
The remote location (a full day's journey by air and truck from Dallas) desert conditions (temperatures in the summer of over 120 degrees F) and the lack local facilities (next morning package service arrives at 5pm, a drive into town to pick up a new battery may take all day) has encouraged the development of reliable high-availability systems that can be maintained with little local support.
 It's sometimes difficult to explain to people just
how quiet it can get at the Lajitas seismic site. When it is quiet, and
the wind isn't blowing, it challenges the limits of human hearing. For
example, we have been able to clearly hear what appears to be the air-coupled
surface wave from a distant sledge-hammer.
"At night, when it is really quiet, the sound of your own hair growing
can keep you awake" --- Paul Golden, 1995
"At night, when it is really quiet, the sound of your own hair growing can keep you awake" --- Paul Golden, 1995