2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

The tectonic and magmatic structure and dynamics of back-arc rifting in Bransfield Strait: An international seismic experiment

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G-437-E Research Location(s): Bransfield Strait


Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1744651

Program Manager:
Dr. Douglas Kowalewski

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Cara Ferrier

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. William Sam Douglas Wilcock
University of Washington
School of Oceanography
Seattle, Washington


Supporting Stations: Special Project
Research Locations: Bransfield Strait


This project is the United States component of an international experiment led by Spain to conduct a study of the seismicity and volcanic structure of the Central Bransfield Basin, with the objective of characterizing the distribution of active extension across the basin and determining whether the volcanic structure and deformation of the rift are consistent with a back-arc basin that is transitioning from continental rifting to seafloor spreading.

Field Season Overview

A research team of 13 US participants will participate on a cruise onboard the Spanish research vessel Sarmiento de Gamboa. The cruise will travel to the Bransfield Strait where the team will deploy the US ocean-bottom seismograph instrument pool (OBSIP), ocean-bottom seismometers (OBSs) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Oregon State University (OSU) hydrophone-moorings instruments, along with additional German OBSs and broadband land seismometers. Some US personnel will then disembark the vessel at King George Island and return by plane to South America. The remainder of the scientific party will sail to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Deploying Team Members

  • Robert Dziak (Co-PI)
  • Alan Gardner
  • Joseph Haxel
  • Timothy Kane
  • Lauren Roche
  • Dax Soule (Co-PI)
  • William Wilcock (PI)