New underwater seismometers to be deployed

Feb 23, 2006

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists plan to deploy 40 ocean bottom seismometers in the Pacific Ocean to better monitor earthquakes.

The seismologists say hundreds of earthquakes occur daily around the world, the majority of them underneath oceans. But since most seismographs are on land, our understanding of basic earthquake processes has been limited.

The new instruments, to be placed on the Eastern Pacific Ocean floor next year, will record both small and large earthquakes.

Jeff McGuire and John Collins at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say their target area is a section of ocean about the size of the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

The instruments will operate for one year along a fault system known to have large earthquake foreshocks. Researchers say current ocean bottom seismometers record moderate ground motions from nearby small earthquakes and can register the foreshocks, but do not have the range to record the main shocks.

McGuire said, "Although our test area is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this technology will have broad application to other faults zones, including those of significant societal relevance such as the nearshore subduction zone off Oregon and Washington."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Exposure to harmful phthalates from processed foods and soft drinks

Related Stories

Wind bursts strongly affect El Nino severity

Apr 15, 2015

The long-forecasted El Niño event of 2014/15 did not meet expectations. On March 5, 2015, the National Weather Service finally declared a "weak" event arriving several months later than expected, formally ...

Ocean 'dead zones' a growing disaster for fish

Apr 09, 2015

Falling ocean oxygen levels due to rising temperatures and influence from human activities such as agrochemical use is an increasingly widespread problem. Considering that the sea floors have taken more than 1,000 years to recover from past eras of low ox ...

NOAA to explore depths of Caribbean Sea

Apr 09, 2015

Beginning April 10, scientists aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will begin a series of 20 dives to investigate previously unseen depths of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean – and the public can follow ...

Recommended for you

A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

14 hours ago

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view telesc ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.