Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rapid response oceanographic expedition dispatched to Chile earthquake site

Date:
March 20, 2010
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
Scientists are undertaking an expedition to explore the rupture site of the 8.8-magnitude Chilean earthquake.

Scientists will map the rupture site of the 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile.
Credit: Jared Kluesner, David Sandwell, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD

Scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California at San Diego are undertaking an expedition to explore the rupture site of the 8.8-magnitude Chilean earthquake.

The quake is one of the largest in recorded history.

The scientists hope to capitalize on a unique scientific opportunity to capture fresh data from the event. They will study changes in the seafloor that resulted from movements along faults and submarine landslides.

The "rapid response" expedition, called the Survey of Earthquake And Rupture Offshore Chile, will take place aboard the research vessel Melville.

The Melville was conducting research off Chile when the earthquake struck.

"This rapid response cruise is a rare opportunity to better understand the processes that affect the generation and size of tsunamis," said Julie Morris, NSF division director for Ocean Sciences. "Seafloor evidence of the quake will contribute to understanding similar earthquake regions worldwide."

An important aspect of the rapid response mission involves swath multibeam sonar mapping of the seafloor to produce detailed topographic maps. Data from mapping the earthquake rupture zone will be made public soon after the research cruise ends, Morris said.

The new data will be compared with pre-quake data taken by scientists at Germany's Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR).

Several years ago IFM-GEOMAR researchers conducted a detailed multibeam mapping survey off Chile. Their data will be valuable for comparisons with the new survey to expose changes from the earthquake rupture, say researchers.

"We'd like to know if the genesis of the resulting tsunami was caused by direct uplift of the seabed along a fault, or by slumping from shaking of sediment-covered slopes," said Dave Chadwell, an SIO geophysicist and chief scientist of the expedition.

"We will look for disturbances in the seafloor, including changes in reflectivity and possibly shape, by comparing previous data with the new [rapid response] data."

The rapid response cruise is possible because the vessel Melville is currently in Chilean waters, where a research team has been conducting an investigation of the geology and biology of the Chilean margin.

"This is a unique case in which we have the shipboard assets, the scientific agenda and the funding all in place," said Bruce Appelgate, associate director for Ship Operations and Marine Technical Support at SIO. "The earthquake was a tragedy for the people of Chile, but we hope this opportunity enables important new discoveries that can help us plan for future events."

The logistical details of undertaking the expedition are enormous and constantly evolving due to uncertainties regarding transportation infrastructure in Chile.

Port facilities are limited due to widespread earthquake devastation, making fueling and provisioning the ship difficult.

Chadwell and SIO scientist Peter Lonsdale, along with graduate students Jared Kluesner and Ashlee Henig, and Scripps Geological Data Center analyst Aaron Sweeney, will be aboard Melville for the eight-day expedition.

The scientists, along with Scripps researchers Mike Tryon and Mark Zumberge, also will deploy depth sensors on the seafloor to record possible abrupt vertical motions over the next year.

The U.S. scientists will be joined by Chilean researchers Juan Díaz and Matias Viel González from Universidad Católica in Valparaíso, as well as scientists from IFM-GEOMAR.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Rapid response oceanographic expedition dispatched to Chile earthquake site." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100319142700.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2010, March 20). Rapid response oceanographic expedition dispatched to Chile earthquake site. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100319142700.htm
National Science Foundation. "Rapid response oceanographic expedition dispatched to Chile earthquake site." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100319142700.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A dozen more bodies were found Wednesday as Japanese rescuers resumed efforts to find survivors and retrieve bodies of those trapped by Mount Ontake's eruption. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A Spanish scientist, who spent 12 days trapped about 1300 feet underground in a cave in Peru's remote Amazon region, was rescued on Tuesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media, Industry Groups React To Calif. Plastic Bag Ban

Media, Industry Groups React To Calif. Plastic Bag Ban

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — California is the first state in the country to ban single-use plastic bags in grocery, liquor and convenience stores. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins