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Sumatra - IODP map

Sediments tell a tsunami story.

Plate-boundary fault rupture during the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman subduction earthquake extended closer to the trench than expected, increasing earthquake and tsunami size. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 362 sampled incoming sediments offshore northern Sumatra, revealing recent release of fresh water within the deep sediments. Thermal modeling links this freshening to amorphous silica dehydration driven by rapid burial-induced temperature increases in the past 9 million years. Complete dehydration of silicates is expected before plate subduction, contrasting with prevailing models for subduction seismogenesis calling for fluid production during subduction. Shallow slip offshore Sumatra appears driven by diagenetic strengthening of deeply buried fault-forming sediments, contrasting with weakening proposed for the shallow Tohoku-Oki 2011 rupture, but our results are applicable to other thickly sedimented subduction zones including those with limited earthquake records. More...

Campi_Flegeri

Campi Flegrei (Italy) volcano eruption possibly closer than thought.

The Campi Flegrei volcano in southern Italy may be closer to an eruption than previously thought according to new research at UCL and the Vesuvius Observatory in Naples. The volcano has been restless for 67 years, with two-year periods of unrest in the 1950s, 1970s and 1980s causing small, local earthquakes and ground uplift. Similar unrest occurred over 500 years ago, when it took a century to build up to an eruption in 1538. More...

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Deep-Water Research

The Ainsa Deepwater Channel Project, Spanish Pyrenees


An Integrated Outcrop Study: Project Manager: Professor Kevin T. Pickering


Introduction to the Ainsa Channel System


The Ainsa Channel System, south-central Pyrenees, occurs in the oldest part of the Campodarbe Group, and it is of Upper Eocene age. The Ainsa Channel Complex is per- haps the most famous of the submarine channel outcrops within Western Europe. The Ainsa channels consist of two principal channel complexes (Ainsa I and Ainsa II) which are separated by thin- and very thin-bedded sandy turbidites and marls. The Ainsa I Channel Complex is an example of an erosional-depositional system. The Ainsa II Chan- nel Complex contains significant erosional cut-downs, with infill of essentially non- erosive sandy facies. The channel dimensions are at a seismic scale.