NSF Award Abstract - #9521039

CAREER: Crustal Cracking along Multi-Segment Portions of the Juan de Fuca Ridge and its Relation to Ridge Segmentation

Latest Amendment Date August 3, 1995
Award Number 9521039
Award Instr. Standard Grant
Prgm Manager Alexander N. Shor
Start Date September 1, 1995
Expires August 31, 1999 (Estimated)
Expected Total Amt. $79,958 (Estimated)
Investigator Dawn J Wright dawn@dusk.geo.orst.edu
Sponsor Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 973315503 503/754-0123
Fld Applictn 0204000 Oceanography


9521039 This project is supported under the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. It provides support over four years for a new Oregon State University faculty member, Dr. Dawn Wright, to develop new, interdisciplinary courses in the marine and geological sciences, to promote scientific careers to undergraduate and high school students, and to carry out a two-pronged research program in different aspects of marine geophysics. The first part of the proposed research focusses on a study of the geophysical development of the Tonga forearc, a region formed in response to ocean crust subduction and characterized by uplift of volcanoes and deep ocean crustal material west of the Tonga trench in the western Pacific Ocean. This study will be carried out in collaboration with Dr. Sherman Bloomer, Chair of the Oregon State University Department of Geosciences. The second focus of Dr. Wright's research will be the investigation of crustal faulting and fissuring along the Juan de Fuca Ridge, a highly active ocean spreading center located offshore western North America from northern California to Canada. This part of the project will include the integration of several existing data sets of side-scan sonar and photographic data along the spreading axis to define the distribution and characteristic of cracks developed in response to the stresses involved in ocean crust formation. Understanding the distribution, length and shape of these cracks will improve our understanding of the mechanisms involved in sea floor spreading; study of the Juan de Fuca Ridge expands on Dr. Wright's study of the processes of crack formation on the East Pacific Rise, a faster-rate spreading center further south in the eastern Pacific. The Juan de Fuca Ridge region is a highly active area seismically, with numerous earthquake reported annually. Dr. Wright will be working on this project in collaboration with researchers at the Hatfield Marine Center in Newport, Oregon, and will integrate her study of crack distribution with ongoing studies of earthquakes on the Juan de Fuca carried out at Hatfield Center. The research program on Juan de Fuca Ridge tectonics will be integrated into new courses developed for graduate and undergraduate education, and will allow a hands-on introduction to research techniques for students at Oregon State University.

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