Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Scientists Present Latest Findings On Chile Earthquake
Several presentations by Scripps research teams will discuss findings from before, during and after the massive 8.8-magnitude Chilean earthquake
Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San Diego
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will discuss preliminary findings from the Survey of the Earthquake and Rupture Offshore Chile (SIOSEARCH) "rapid response" research cruise and other studies using real-time satellite and GPS surveys of the major earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile earlier this year
The tsunami generated by the M 8.8 earthquake carried many boats onto land - in some cases hundreds of meters inland. Photo: USGS
Scripps geophysicist David Chadwell and colleagues will present information on whether specific geomorphic features, such as slumps along submarine channel walls and floors, show any pre- or post-earthquake changes. The poster presentation is part of a series of scientific presentations related to the Feb. 27 earthquake and tsunami at the 2010 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco. (Wednesday, Dec. 15, 1:40 - 6:00 p.m. · Poster Hall, Moscone South)
Less than three weeks after the momentous geological event and subsequent tsunami, the SIOSEARCH team collected multi-beam sonar images of the seafloor at the earthquake site off the coast of Chile. In order to determine what caused the 60-meter (197-feet) tsunami waves, the team used the information to produce detailed bathymetric maps to characterize structural changes in the seafloor that resulted from movement along faults and submarine landslides.
The new digital data are being compared to similar "before" images taken by scientists at Germany's Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR).
In a pair of poster presentations, Scripps graduate students Xiaopeng Tong and Karen Luttrell will discuss results from radar interferometry satellite and GPS data that captured the ground movement during the earthquake. Tong's study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of AGU's Geophysical Research Letters, revealed a 600-kilometer (372-mile) long and 160-kilometer (99-mile) wide fault rupture. The study also estimated the fault displacement, or slip, produced by the earthquake to reveal that most of the movement occurred above the continental moho, which is estimated to be at a depth of 40-kilometers over the region. (G33A-0840 · Wednesday, Dec. 15, 1:40 - 6:00 p.m. · Poster Hall Moscone South)
An illustration of the subduction zone off the west coast of South America.
Using these results, Luttrell and Tong collaborated on a second study to calculate the stress drop by comparing it to the region's topography. The analysis was used to better understand the fault's strength and how the stress associated with the 8.8-magintude earthquake was transmitted through Earth's mantle. (Wednesday, Dec. 15, 1:40 - 6:00 p.m. · Poster Hall Moscone South)
The 2010 Chile earthquake that occurred off the coast of the Maule Region of Chile is a highly active tectonic plate subduction zone along the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates.
# # #RELATED PRESENTATIONS:
G33A-0851 · Wednesday, Dec 15, 1:40 - 6:00 p.m. · Poster Hall, Moscone South
"AN EXAMINATION OF 'BEFORE' AND 'AFTER' BATHYMETRY FOR UPLIFT OF THE SEA FLOOR FOLLOWING THE FEB. 27, 2010 MAULE, CHILE EARTHQUAKE"
G33A-0839 · Wednesday, Dec. 15, 1:40 - 6:00 p.m. · Poster Hall, Moscone South
"THE MW8.8 2010 MAULE, CHILE EARTHQUAKE: SIGNIFICANT SLIP OCCURRED ONLY ABOVE THE CONTINENTAL MOHO"
G33A-0840 · Wednesday, Dec. 15, 1:40 - 6:00 p.m. · Poster Hall Moscone South
"ESTIMATES OF STRESS DROP FROM THE 27 FEBRUARY 2010 CHILE EARTHQUAKE AND TECTONIC STRESS IN THE CRUST: IMPLICATIONS FOR FAULT STRENGTH"
# # #
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Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.
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