Rensselaer Research Review Fall 2010
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* Olympic Seleton Sliding

Professor Steven Roecker
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Audio podcast.

The overall goal of the project is to produce an open source of data on the earthquake for a large range of existing scientific projects. Some potential uses for the important data include studies on the potential for other earthquakes in the region, the development of seismic images of the fault zone and how that is changing over time, the identification of stress patterns in the surrounding portions of the fault zone, and comparisons between other active geologic zones in the world.

“A large earthquake was not unexpected in Chile. But, what we already know is that the exact location of this earthquake was a bit unexpected,” Roecker said. “The northern portion of this fault was expected to slip first. The fact that the southern portion was the part to rupture leads to many questions about the additional strain that has accumulated at the already tenuous edges to the north.” The data being provided by the research excursion could provide important clues about the stability at the edges of seismic zone.

Roecker, who is also an active teacher at Rensselaer, focuses his research on the gathering and analysis of geophysical data. He utilizes information from seismometers as well as Global Position Systems (GPS) and studies of gravity to learn how the earth moves over time. His research takes him frequently to Tibet and Central Asia. He began a partnership with scientists in Chile more than 20 years ago and most recently received a Fulbright scholarship to continue his study of the subsurface geology in the country.

Listen to audio podcast interview with Steven Roecker on WAMC radio related to his work in Chile.

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