Acquisition and Operation of Broadband Seismograph Equipment at Chilean Bases in the Antarctic Peninsula Region
This award, provided jointly by the Antarctic Geology and Geophysics Program of the Office of Polar Programs, supports research to transform three temporary seismometers in the Antarctic Peninsula into semi-permanent stations and to continue basic research using these data. During 1997 and 1998, a network of 11 broadband seismographs in the Antarctic Peninsula region and southernmost Chilean Patagonia were installed and maintained. Data return from this project has been excellent and interesting initial results have been produced. The continued operation of these instruments over a longer time period would be highly beneficial because the number of larger magnitude regional earthquakes is small and so a longer time is needed to acquire data. However, instruments from this project are borrowed from the IRIS-PASSCAL instrument pool and must be returned to PASSCAL in April, 1999. This award provides funds to convert three stations at permanent Chilean bases in the Antarctic to permanent stations, and to continue the seismological investigation of the region for a period of four years. As part of this project, a fourth station, in Chilean Patagonia, will continue to be operated using Washington University equipment. The funding of this project will enable continued collaboration between Washington University and the Universidad de Chile in the operation of these stations, and the data will be forwarded to the IRIS data center as well as to other international seismological collaborators. Mutual data exchanges with other national groups with Antarctic seismology research programs will provide access to broadband data from a variety of other proprietary broadband stations in the region. The data will be used to study the seismicity and upper mantle velocity structure of several complicated tectonic regions in the area, including the South Shetland subduction zone, the Bransfield backarc rift, and diffuse plate boundaries in Patagonia, Drake Passage, and along the South Scotia Ridge. In particular, the operation of these stations over a longer time period will allow a better understanding of the seismicity of the South Shetland Trench, an unusual subduction zone showing very slow subduction of young lithosphere. These seismometers will also be used to record airgun shots during a geophysical cruise in the Bransfield Strait that is being planned by the University of Texas for April, 2000. These data will provide important constraints on the crustal structure beneath the stations, and the improved structural models will enable implementation of more precise earthquake location procedures in support of a seismological understanding of the region.
Data Management Plan
None in the Database