Joint MARGINS - EarthScope Announcement:
New Opportunities in Cascadia

Released May 12, 2009

Joint MARGINS – EarthScope Announcement: New Opportunities in Cascadia
Geoff Abers, Chair, MARGINS Steering Committee
Goran Ekstrom, Chair, EarthScope Steering Committee

NSF has been discussing with the MARGINS and EarthScope Steering Committee Chairs plans for facility enhancements to dramatically improve geophysical observations in Cascadia. This announcement is intended to provide the scientific community with the information we have received thus far regarding this exciting new development enhancing both programs.

As part of the 2009 Stimulus or ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) spending, NSF’s Earth Sciences (EAR) and Ocean Sciences (OCE) divisions are each receiving $5M in facility-related investment. The funds will be targeted toward Facility-related investments to support EarthScope and MARGINS science objectives, with an initial emphasis on onshore/offshore studies of the Cascadia margin. Under current plans, the EAR portion will be spent to enhance data collection from the
EarthScope PBO geodetic facility in Cascadia, and to deploy additional USArray Transportable Array seismic equipment in the region (not necessarily only re-occupying previous stations). The OCE portion will go toward a pool of Ocean Bottom Seismographs (OBS's), ultimately part of the OBS Instrument Pool (OBSIP), to be deployed off Cascadia. OBS deployments will be supported by other funds. NSF currently envisions an initial deployment of at least 3 years, with a review to determine
future use of this equipment. All of these instruments are to be "open" community facilities providing data to any interested investigator as quickly as possible, in the manner of most current EarthScope stations. Many details remain to be determined, but our impression is that this overall plan will move forward quickly.

We are very excited by these developments. This is a big opportunity for both programs and provides a way for more integrated
EarthScope-MARGINS studies in the future. There are clearly some issues that still need to be resolved, such as the long-term plans for this facility. We are confident that these issues can be worked out with participation of the scientific community, and will strive to keep information available as rapidly as possible to the widest possible audience.

While plans are developing, we welcome community input into this process and encourage airing of ideas of what this facility could achieve. To that end, we have set up a moderated web forum ( available to anybody in the EarthScope and MARGINS communities, to post ideas and suggestions.

Join the discussion today!




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Last updated Friday, May 29, 2009