Using Sound and Radio Waves to Probe Cascadia: Prognosis Earthquake?
Here in the Pacific Northwest we live in an active geological laboratory with spreading ridges, a subduction zone, and volcanoes. New oceanic plates are formed off-shore and move towards the continent, with very real implications. Where the two plates initially meet is called the ‘locked zone,’ the origin of very large earthquakes and tsunamis they can trigger.
The University of Oregon’s Dr. Dean Livelybrooks will talk about how scientists are using sound and radio waves to ‘probe’ the locked zone and crust around it.
We will do experiments measuring the speed of sound in different materials, leading up to the idea of an early-warning system like the one implemented for the Bay Area.
Dean Livelybrooks received a B.Sc. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Oregon. After working in Scotland and Canada he now serves on the Physics faculty at the University of Oregon, and is actively engaged in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach to schools and the public, in addition to pursuing his teaching and research interests.
Livelybrooks has undertaken geophysics field work for the past thirty years in the western United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Britain, Greece, Ontario, Quebec, and offshore on research cruises as part of the Cascadia Initiative. He acquires and analyzes sound, radar and tide gauge signals, and low-frequency radio waves to better understand how the Earth bumps, grinds and gurgles as its plates move over it surface.