Accurate seafloor Subduction zone Monitoring
Location Cooperation Date
Japan JAMSTEC & University of Bergen 2018-2022

This project is a cooperation between the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the University of Bergen and MonViro with financial support by Innovation Norway.

In this project (2018-2022), we will adapt our technologies for high accuracy vertical seafloor deformation (VSD) and time-lapse gravity measurements at the seabed, to surveillance over tectonically active areas, as the subduction zone along the coast of Japan. The largest earthquakes on Earth occur in subduction zones, the most recent examples being 2011 Japan (Mw9.0); 2012 Chile (Mw8.8); and 2004 Sumatra (Mw9.1). All these earthquakes resulted in a large number of causalities both due to ground shaking and tsunamis.

Plate deformations occur both before, during and after such events determining what types, where and how often earthquakes and tsunamis will be generated. However, offshore these plate movements are only sparsely monitored, leaving several unknowns in the model predictions. Through this project we aim at introducing seafloor 4D gravity and VSD monitoring as novel sources of information that may contribute to a better understanding of these tectonic plate movements for enhancing earthquake and tsunami risk mitigation.