AsianScientist (Jul. 8, 2016) – Scientists from Singapore will lead an international team to the Wharton Basin in the Indian Ocean to investigate the cause of the largest intraplate earthquake ever recorded in an ocean. The magnitude 8.6 earthquake, which occurred on April 12, 2012 off the west coast of Sumatra, is referred to by seismologists as the 2012 Great Earthquake.
A relatively rare phenomenon, an intraplate earthquake occurs in the interior of massive irregular solid rock slabs called tectonic plates. The more common interplate earthquake occurs at the boundary between two tectonic plates.
This month-long expedition, led by a team from the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, aims to fully understand the anatomy of the rupture patterns and faults of this intraplate earthquake. The study seeks to also find out if the recent large earthquakes at the Wharton Basin is heralding the start of a new fault line, which happens only once every few million years.
Professor Satish Singh, a visiting professor at EOS and marine geophysicist from IPGP in France, will lead this voyage.
Officially known as the Marine Investigation of the Rupture Anatomy of the 2012 Great Earthquake (MIRAGE) Expedition, it will be conducted on board the French research vessel R/V Marion Dufresne owned by the Institut Paul Emile Victor.
France’s Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences are set to join the expedition. The international scientific team consists of more than 20 scientists and students from the three research institutes, in addition to the crew on board the R/V Marion Dufresne.
The 110-meter oceanographic vessel left Colombo, Sri Lanka, on July 1, 2016 and has made its way to the Wharton Basin located in the northeast quarter of the Indian Ocean.
Source: Nanyang Technological University.
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