USGS - science for a changing world

Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

South China Sea Deep: In-situ observation of bottom flows and sediment dynamics in northeastern South China Sea

Research Overview

In 2010, the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) funded the "South China Sea Deep" initiative, an interdisciplinary research project to study the tectonics, sedimentology and sediment transport, and biogeochemical cycling of the South China Sea. USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) scientists were invited by colleagues in Tongji University (Shanghai, China) to collaborate on a proposal for studying the deep water sediment dynamics and sediment transport in the northeastern South China Sea. The project, "In-situ observation of bottom flows and sediment dynamics in northeastern South China Sea," has been funded for 4 years (2012-2015).

Read more in Background and Progress.

Research news
The Free-Ascending Tripod (FAT) being deployed in the South China Sea from the vessel Aquilla on April 19, 2014.

Free-Ascending Tripod Brings Data from the Deep Seafloor of the South China Sea: October 2014

A deepwater tripod system designed and built at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, was recovered in late September 2014 after spending 5 months collecting data on the floor of the South China Sea. Read more

Photo of the new FAT developed and designed in Santa Cruz, California by the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center.

Deep-Sea Instrument Tripod Passes Test in Monterey Bay, California—Next Stop is South China Sea: August 2013

The free-ascending tripod was designed and built at the Marine Facility of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. A team from the science center tested the new system at the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. The tripod passed with flying colors, clearing it for use. Read more

Photograph of Jerome Li.

Chinese Scientist Visiting USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center: June 2012

Dr. Jianru (Jerome) Li, assistant professor from the State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology, Tongji University, China, visited the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in 2012 to help develop the free-ascending tripod for the South China Sea. Read more

Research Location

Maps of study location, read caption that follows and click for a larger version of the maps.

Above, A, Sites in South China Sea where the USGS deepwater tripod and about a dozen moorings will collect data to shed light on sediment movement and accumulation on the seafloor. Red dots, sites of instrumented platforms. Green triangles, sites of Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) boreholes. Long-dashed yellow line, hypothesized route of deep contour-following current entering from the Pacific Ocean. Short-dashed yellow line, hypothesized alternative route of deep current from the Pacific. B, Seismic-reflection profile along line ab on map, showing sediment layers in an apparent contourite (deposited by contour currents). Simplified drawings indicate where scientists intend to place the tripod (TJ-A-2) and several moorings (TJ-A-1, TJ-A-3, TJ-A-4). C, Enlarged map of line cd, showing sites (red dots) where groups of moorings will be placed along the axis of a submarine canyon (Formosa Canyon).

Contact

Jingping Xu, Project Chief, Scientist Emeritus, jpx@usgs.gov
George Tate, USGS Marine Facility Chief, gtate@usgs.gov

 

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/research/projects/schina_deepsea.html
Page Contact Information: Laura Zink Torresan
Page Last Modified: 1 December 2014 (lzt)