Bill Hanshumaker, Sea Grant’s marine educator at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, is blogging from sea off the Pacific coast this week as he travels with scientists seeking to learn more about seafloor geology and earthquakes.
The team is traveling aboard OSU’s R/V Wecoma with a crew from the Cascadia Initiative, an onshore/offshore seismic and geodetic experiment that studies questions ranging from megathrust earthquakes to volcanic arc structure to the formation, deformation and hydration of the Juan De Fuca and Gorda plates.
The team takes advantage of an Amphibious Array of 60 ocean-bottom sensors installed with funding from the 2009 US Recovery Act to improve undersea earthquake monitoring and advance our understanding of geologic processes in the seismically active region off the coasts of Oregon, Washington and Northern California. The system also includes onshore GPS stations and earthquake monitoring instruments. Participating institutions include Columbia University, IRIS, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and UNAVCO, a nonprofit consortium of universities supporting geoscience research and education.
This is the third major research cruise over the past decade for Dr. Hanshumaker, who has been educating the public about science for 16 years at the HMSC Visitor Center, and before that, at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. In 2005 and 2006, he joined the Sounds From the Southern Ocean cruises with a team led by NOAA/OSU researcher Bob Dziak, who is also one of the principle investigators on the current project.
As he’s done on previous research voyages, Bill is blogging about the voyage, the research and the research team, this time from http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/billgoestosea.
Shipboard blogging can be a challenge, thanks to a hectic research schedule and unpredictable Internet access, but Bill is posting as time and conditions permit, and also plans to share the experience with Visitor Center audiences on his return to Newport.