Guest Expert: Professor Harold Tobin
Professor Harold Tobin, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Date of Webinar: December 2, 2010, 8:00pm EST
Topic: Sesimic Activity
Title: Earthquakes beneath the Sea: Understanding, early warning, and the prospects for prediction
Description: Submarine earthquakes and the tsunami that they generate are among the greatest natural hazards and unfortunately remain the least predictable. Most of the Earth’s largest earthquakes occur beneath the ocean along tectonic plate boundaries called subduction zones. The process of how these faults suddenly rupture in a catastrophic earthquake after building up stress and strain for hundreds of years is poorly known, as are the factors that govern the likelihood of a tsunami. One major path to learn about these faults is to look inside them, by drilling down miles beneath the sea floor, collecting samples and placing monitoring instruments in the drill holes, directly inside the fault zone. At a deep sea trench off the coast of Japan called the Nankai Trough, IODP scientists are doing that. Samples are teaching us about the faults and measurements both down hole and on the sea bed, are helping us learn about the stress slowly accumulating. An early warning system is part of this effort, and will join existing successful tsunami warning forecast systems already in use around the Pacific Ocean.
Guest Expert Bio: Harold Tobin is Professor of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research specialties are in marine geology and the processes of earthquake faulting on land and beneath the ocean. Tobin is a veteran of ten ocean-going research expeditions, and is currently serving as Chief Project Scientist for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program’s NanTroSEIZE project, an international collaboration that is the largest scientific ocean drilling project in history. He completed a B.S. at Yale University in 1987 and a PhD in Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1995. After postdoctoral research at Stanford University, he held a faculty position at New Mexico Tech for 9 years, before moving to the Un. of Wisconsin in 2006.
Professor Tobin’s Presentation
- Earthquakes Beneath the Sea: December 2, 2010 (PDF ~ 33MB)
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Please note that due to technical difficulties only the second half of this webinar is available.
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