For release: March 2, 2010
For press information, contact Gary Patterson, CERI, 901/678-5264
The University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) will take part in post-earthquake studies related to the magnitude 8.8 earthquake
that devastated the region around Maule, Chile, last week. CERI seismologist Dr. Robert Smalley has worked in the Andes for more than a decade
using global positioning systems to gain a better understanding of the rate of seismic
energy accumulation along the boundary between the South American Plate and the Nazca
Plate that parallels the west coast of South America.
Dr. Smalley will leave Memphis on March 3rd for a minimum of five weeks. Additional
researchers from the University of Memphis will likely be deployed in the near future.
Researchers must respond quickly in order to capture seismological, geodetic, and
geological information that is produced in the days, weeks, and months following such
large earthquakes. These data provide critical scientific information for understanding global plate
tectonics and better define the risk for this earthquake-prone region.
The University of Memphis is partnering with researchers from Ohio State University,
the University of Hawaii, the California Institute of Technology, and other US institutions
and foreign collaborators, with funding from the National Science Foundation.
Progress reports and pictures from the field research team will be posted on www.ceri.memphis.edu