Friday, May 28, 2010

Chile Earthquake: NSF Research Grants

From the National Science Foundation, May 3, 2010:

In response to the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that occurred in Chile on February 27, 2010, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded three major Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grants to study how the quake happened, and learn from those findings for the future.

The Chile quake is the fifth largest earthquake ever recorded, and the second largest that has occurred since a modern suite of instruments was developed to collect data related to earthquakes.

"The new deployments will provide valuable data to help scientists understand earthquakes not only in Chile, but around the world," says Russ Kelz, program director in NSF's Division of Earth Sciences. "NSF is stimulating important advances in basic earthquake science, rapid-response geophysical and data communications technology, and international collaboration and data sharing."

Two NSF RAPID awards--made to a consortium of institutions including Ohio State University, California Institute of Technology, University of Hawaii, University of Memphis, and UNAVCO Inc., in Boulder, Colo.--provide for installation of 25 continuously operating global positioning system (CGPS) stations, as well as state-of-the-art satellite communications for data delivery.

Through another Chile quake RAPID award, 60 seismic stations arrived in Santiago, Chile, from the NSF-supported Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Program for Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (PASSCAL) Instrument Center in Socorro, New Mexico.

With data from the instruments, scientists will obtain high-resolution locations of aftershocks, carry out research on Earth structure in and around the Chilean subduction zone, and study major cities for a detailed analysis of local response.

All data collected as part of the U.S. deployments will be open and freely available immediately after collection.

More information about these RAPID projects may be found in IRIS Community Instrument Deployment in Chile and Science Highlights 2010 - UNAVCO Event Response.

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