The Earthquake that Triggered Expedition 362

In 2004, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake struck the northern Sumatra region and triggered a tsunami that inundated the Indian Ocean coast. The disaster was an important reminder to earth scientists that we must better understand the processes at work in subduction zones so that we can help mitigate future disasters. The earthquake was extremely powerful and surprising to geologists in that it was able to break through the plate boundary to relatively shallow depths (5-7 km) below the seafloor. This poster explains some of the details about the events of 26 December 2004, which spurred the scientists on board Expedition 362 to drill into the seafloor and study the rocks and sediments that host major earthquakes once they reach the subduction plate boundary.

Family portrait

We have 4 micropaleontologists on board during Expedition 362 who are working together to track the age of the core.

Meet our micropaleontology team! From left to right: Freya for Diatoms, Wen-Huang for Foraminifers, Jan for Nannofossils and Sarah for Radiolarians.

Why are we using microfossils?

Daily Science Report Explained

Each day, our Staff Scientist/Expedition Project Manager sends out an update to the ship and to our colleagues on shore. The daily report summarizes the scientific findings from the day before. Here's an example of a daily report, explained with photos!

How we drill and core in hard sediments and rocks

When we want to drill into hard sediments and rocks, we have to change the drill bit. In the deeper part of Site U1480, we used an RCB (Rotary Core Barel) drill bit rather than the APC/XCB we used before for coring the younger, softer sediments.*

From Mud to Rocks

Agnes just gave us a nice primer on mud. But what happens next to make mud into a rock?
First, we need to answer the question, What’s a rock?

A Successful Story at Site U1480

We finished our first site with success! We're now at our second site, so here's a little summary of what we did at Site U1480. We met our primary science goal at the site: core the entire sedimentary sequence from seafloor down to the oceanic crust that forms the basement that the sediments rest on. That's almost 1.4 km (0.8 mi)!

In the mud for love

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end".

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

When we see all this mud coming from beneath the seafloor, we can ask ourselves the question: "What is it made of"?

Weekend Specials

It's the weekend! That means everything proceeds as normal on board, except on-shore colleagues don't read their emails, we don't have video conferences with schools, and we have Very Special Food.

What’s an Earthquake?

Earthquakes may bring to mind fear and danger or perhaps confusion and curiosity. Some earthquakes can be very destructive, as we have seen in several recent events. To help mitigate the damage and loss of life, earthquake scientists aim to better understand the physical context of great earthquakes, like the 2004 M 9 Sumatra-Adaman Earthquake. That’s part of the goal of Expedition 362. But first, we need to know what an earthquake is.

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