Earthquake 'swarm' under investigation

08 March 2005 | 11:29 Code : 4779 Geoscience events
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Scientists from Canada and the U.S. are on a ship off the coast of Vancouver Island hoping for a closer look at the latest earthquake action in the region.
Scientists from Canada and the U.S. are on a ship off the coast of Vancouver Island hoping for a closer look at the latest earthquake action in the region.

Last week, shifting plates on the ocean floor triggered nearly 4,000 relatively small earthquakes along the Northern Juan de Fuca Ridge. about 250 kilometres south and west of the island.

team of researchers from Canada, Hawaii, Oregon and Massachusetts left Seattle on Saturday. John Cassidy is an earthquake scientist with the Pacific Geoscience Centre on southern Vancouver Island.

"It's been a few years since we've had a really intense swarm like this along one of the spreading centres, but they do happen," he says.

"If the ship does get out there on time, this will be one of the first chances to actually see what's happening as it happens."

Cassidy says although the earthquakes are intense, they don't pose a serious threat.

In 2007, scientists will launch Project Neptune, which aims to monitor potential tsunami threats in the region.

Part of the project includes a 3,000-kilometre network of powered fibre-optic cable on the seabed over the Juan de Fuca Plate.

Land-based scientists will use the sea floor labs to collect data from the ocean surface.

tags: QAZVIN


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