Non-stop surveying and coring and coring and surveying (2.5 days remain)

We have really accomplished a lot in our two weeks of surveying off-shore of Haiti’s Southern Peninsula. Our survey has transversed many seismically affected regions where we can focus our efforts on carefully scanning fault scarps and areas potentially altered by this earthquake or previous earthquake activity. Small boat work was especially successful, as after processing the data they were able to trace the scarps found in the shallow offshore regions to those on land. Matt immediately contacted the onshore geologists directing them to where they should focus their land surveying. Our work will be nicely complimented by the number of cores we have collected in the range of marine settings allowing us develop a “big picture” understanding for this seismically active region. A total of 18 gravity cores and 3 multi-cores in counting, have been collected in deep basin areas reaching depths beyond 1700 m to perched basins, channel settings, and reef rubble regions (<100 m water depth).  The sediment will help us understand the images that are created from our surveying. We will have a better understanding for their structure, what they are composed of, and how they fit into the larger fault network. This expansive core collection will help us understand the scale of the area affected by normal deposition versus event-related deposition, the origin of sediments and where and how they accumulate during an event indicating more discrete regions of tectonic movement, and allow us to calculate a recurrence interval for earthquakes to help predict future events.

A few nights ago, the onshore geologists from the Texas Geophysical Institute and USGS met us at sea where we have a brief meeting to discuss our progress and where to focus our efforts.

Sean Gullick, scientist onboard from the Texas Geophysical Institute, had a phone interview with NPR discussing the pertinence of our research, our scientific goals, and how this is can benefit the long-term sustainability of Haiti.  This interview will be posted once it is released.

Leave a Reply