2011 Cruises

Chukchi Edges Project

The primary purpose of this cruise is to collect Multi-Channel Seismic Reflection (MCS) data across the transition from the Chukchi Shelf to the Chukchi Borderland. These data will serve two purposes;

1) By imaging the transition between these two continental blocks, we will constrain the history and timing of relative motion between them.

2) By collecting continuous MCS data from exploration wells drilled by Shell on the Chukchi shelf in the late 80ʼs, following the thickest sediment section, we will be able to establish the time stratigraphy along our profiles and other profiles we cross.... >> read more.

Costa Rica 3D Seismic Survey Project Summary

The world’s most powerful earthquakes and tsunamis are generated at subduction zones, regions where one tectonic plate slides beneath the other as it slips into Earth’s mantle. Subduction-zone earthquakes are typically generated at depths between 5 and 100 kilometers below the surface, making studies of the conditions that control the accumulation and release of energy during an earthquake extremely difficult... >> read more.

Alaska/Aleutian Megathrust Project

The primary purpose of this upcoming research cruise is to use seismic reflection and refraction data to better understand the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone off southern Alaska, which produces large and destructive earthquakes.

 Scientists will use the data to 1) estimate the size of the seismogenic zone, the part of the fault that generates earthquakes, and 2) provide critical information on how the properties of the seismogenic zone change along the subduction zone such that some areas produce large earthquakes and others do not.  >>read more.

NoMelt: Structure and Evolution of the Oceanic Lithosphere / Asthenosphere System

What is a plate?  This question is central to our understanding of global geodynamics and plate tectonics, but our knowledge of basic lithospheric properties in even very simple geological regions is poor.  In December, 2011, we will initiate a comprehensive data-collection and analysis effort designed to significantly advance our understanding of the structure and evolution of oceanic plates.  Using the research vessel R/V Marcus G. Langseth, we will combine an active-source seismic refraction experiment, a passive-source broadband ocean-bottom seismometer (BB OBS) deployment, and a seafloor magneto-telluric (MT) experiment to characterize a swath of mature Pacific lithosphere (Figure) in unprecedented detail.  >>read more.