Unit Affiliation: Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)
The lithosphere is the Earth's rocky outer shell. Lithospheric 'plates' drift over the Earth, carrying the continents, and large earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur where the plates interact. Hence, understanding the lithosphere is central to our understanding of how the Earth works. The oceanic lithosphere, which covers some 70% of the Earth, is central to our understanding of global geodynamics and plate tectonics, but our understanding of its character (including composition and thickness) and the factors that control them is poor. Variations of seismic and electrical properties of the Earth are indicators of compositional variations. The aim of this project is to use the most up-to-date seismic and electromagnetic methods to address two fundamental questions about the lithosphere that lies beneath the Pacific basin: What factors control the seismic structure of the lithosphere, and what defines the base of the lithosphere? The broader impacts of this work include improved understanding of factors such as the composition of the lithosphere that affect volcanic eruptions, great earthquakes and tsunamis that threaten heavily populated areas in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and elsewhere around the Pacific Rim.
OUTCOMES: 30 of 34 OBSs were recovered successfully and the team is working to better characterize 6-hz noise that was picked up. A website has been created and an interview was published in OurAmazingPlanet.
Integrative Field Studies for the Deep Carbon Observatory
Thermal and melt structure of the Juan de Fuca plate from ridge to trench to arc, inferred from seismic attenuation across the Amphibious Array