California Institute of Technology
Seismological Laboratory Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences

Research

Marine Geophysics

Marine GeophysicsWe survey the oceans using gravity, magnetics, swath bathymetry, and seismic reflection profiling to address problems of tectonic evolution of the oceanic plates and their boundaries. Most of our cruises have studied the Pacific and Antarctic plates, and in particular the region between New Zealand, West Antarctica, and Chile. However, we have also done cruises elsewhere in the Pacific Ocean (North Pacific and West Central Pacific), the Gulf of California, and in the Atlantic Ocean. Major objectives of our cruises include: study of previously unrecognized fossil spreading systems in Antarctica (Adare Basin, Ross Sea) and the western Pacific (Osbourn Trough), as well as imaging of numerous active faults in the Gulf of California. Cruises have taken place on the following ships: Nathaniel B Palmer, Roger Revelle, Maurice Ewing and Francisco de Ulloa in collaboration with researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD), University of Sydney, IGNS New Zealand, AIST Japan, University of Chile, and CICESE (Mexico). We have used the Nathaniel B Palmer three times as a floating classroom for a marine geophysics class, on cruises of opportunity. Currently we do not have any cruises scheduled, although proposals for new cruises have been submitted to funding agencies, and we have ongoing research to analyze existing data and prepare for future cruises.

Marine Geophysics is the survey of the oceans using gravity, magnetics, swath bathymetry, and seismic reflection profiling to address problems of tectonic evolution of the oceanic plates and their boundaries.  Major objectives of our cruises include: study of previously unrecognized fossil spreading systems in Antarctica (Adare Basin, Ross Sea) and the western Pacific (Osbourn Trough), as well as imaging of numerous active faults in the Gulf of California.

Seismo Lab scientists doing research in this area:

Faculty