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New insights into the earthquake process based on geodetic observations in Central America

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 4 pm

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Tim Dixon
University of Miami
Miami, FL

NSF MARGINS Distinguished Lecturer Program
Special Seminar

The MARGINS Distinguished Lecturer on Nov 11 will be Prof. Tim Dixon from the University of Miami, an expert in the application of Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) and GPS to crustal deformation studies.

MARGINS Distinguished Lectureship Program

Episodic tremor and/or slow slip events are now well described in the subduction zones of Cascadia, Japan, and Mexico, and are providing insights into the frictional properties of the plate interface in these seismogenic zones. Both Cascadia and Japan are well instrumented with seismometers and high precision GPS systems; Cascadia observations have been greatly augmented by NSF’s Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO). Episodic tremor and slow slip likely occurs in most subduction zones, but lack of network instrumentation makes rigorous comparison difficult. The northern Costa Rica plate boundary zone provides an ideal locale for such a network. Convergence rates are up to a factor of two higher compared to the other well studied regions, and the Nicoya Peninsula extends close to the trench, allowing optimum location of instruments. Beginning in 2005, we installed a sparse network of GPS and seismic instrumentation to study slow slip events and seismic tremor in this region. The data from this new network, which has already recorded a slow slip and tremor event, is revising our picture of both the temporal and spatial aspects of the seismic cycle.

Host Bill Rose (

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