Plenary: The Role of Marine Technology in Mitigating Subduction Zone Hazards

The Role of Marine Technology in Mitigating Subduction Zone Hazards

Wednesday, October 30

The challenges of studying offshore subduction zones are many. Hear about the relevant scientific questions, instruments in use, emerging technologies, and what opportunities exist for new developments to expand this critical component of an early-warning system for earthquake and tsunami hazards from subduction zones.

Panelist: Dr. William Wilcock
Jerome M. Paros Endowed Chair in Sensor Networks, School of Oceanography, University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

Dr. William Wilcock is a Professor with expertise in marine geology and geophysics who has been at the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington in 1993. His research interests include the use of geophysical observations to understand seafloor volcanoes and hydrothermal system, developing new tools for seafloor geodesy at subduction zones and studying baleen whales using opportunistic recordings of seafloor seismometers. He is particularly interested in developing capabilities for long term geophysical observations in the oceans.


Panelist: David Schmidt
Associate Professor, Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

Dr. Schmidt specializes in the use of geodesy to study the deformation of the earth’s crust.  In terrestrial environments, Dr. Schmidt uses GNSS and satellite radar to measure subtle displacements of the ground due to earthquakes, landslides, or the movement of fluids in the crust.  However, these methods do not work beneath the oceans.  On the seafloor, Dr. Schmidt utilizes GNSS-Acoustic, seafloor bottom pressure, and other technologies to measure crustal strain.  These data inform about the state of locking on subduction zone faults, with implications for where future earthquakes and tsunamis may occur.  Transient, aseismic fault slip is also observed in subduction zones, and these events help to provide insights on the mechanics of the faults.

Panelist: Harold Tobin
Director, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network; Professor, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

Tobin’s research involves interdisciplinary and integrative studies of subduction zone processes, with a focus , on fault mechanics and seismic structure. Among other research activities and projects, he has lead the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program NanTroSEIZE project — the largest sustained scientific drilling project — for 15 years. Prior to starting at UW, Tobin was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Geoscience specializing in fault mechanics, marine geophysics and rock physics.

Panelist: Dana Manalang
Principal Engineer, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

Dana Manalang is a Principal Engineer in the APL-UW Electronics and Photonic Systems Department. She has held key roles in system development, testing, commissioning, and operations programs across multiple industries including ocean instrumentation, wireless sensor networks, semiconductor processing equipment, and defense.

She earned a B.S. in Ocean Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology and received her M.S.E.E from UC Berkeley. Before joining APL-UW in 2009, Dana was the Lead AUV Systems Engineer at Fugro Seafloor Surveys. She currently manages instrument operations and maintenance for the OOI Cabled Array.