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ID S-1-96-WO
Abstract Chief Scientists: Mike Fisher, Ernst Flueh. Geophysical data (bottomseismometer, GPS) of field activity S-1-96-WO in Cascadia, Washington from 04/14/1996 to 06/06/1996
Chief Scientist Mike Fisher
Ernst Flueh
Activity Type Geophysical
Platform F. S. Sonne
Area of Operation Cascadia, Washington, Washington-Oregon
Bounding Coordinates
-126.98272    -124.12401
Dates 04/14/1996 (JD 105) to 06/06/1996 (JD 158)
Analog Materials list
Mike Fisher Chief Scientist, USGS Western Region
Ernst Flueh Chief Scientist, Geomar, Germany
Equipment Used
Seismic studies of earthquake hazards posed by the
subduction zone off Washington and Oregon

The German research vessel Sonne came into port in Astoria, Oreg., on May 22,
after completing seismic studies of earthquake hazards
posed by the subduction zone off Washington and Oregon.

Co-chief scientist Mike Fisher
(the other co-chief was Ernst Flueh of GEOMAR, Germany)
was disappointed that strong currents in the Columbia River
forced the Sonne to be pulled into the dock stern-first by a tugboat,
thus preventing a more triumphant entry.

But Mike had little else to complain about,
reporting "spectacular success" for the cruise.
Generally good weather allowed data collection
on all but 3 days of the 5-week cruise.
As Mike reported to Steve Bohlen,
"Thanks to a highly skilled and motivated German-American crew
we achieved nearly everything we had proposed to do.

We have multichannel seismic lines that show
the downgoing oceanic plate 120 km eastward from the trench.
Using these data...with detailed, wide-angle information,
I'm confident that we will make decisive statements about
the earthquake environment of the subduction zone."

Tom Parsons led an onshore crew that set up and maintained three east-west lines
of seismometers to extend the Sonne results across western Washington.
Additional data were contributed by cooperators
Anne Trehu of Oregon State University,
who ran two lines of seismometers in northern Oregon, and
Steve Malone of the University of Washington,
who maintains a permanent network of seismometers around northern Washington.

An unexpected bonus was a magnitude 5.4 earthquake
centered east of Seattle that occurred on May 2 and
was recorded by seismometers on- and offshore.
Data from the earthquake and its aftershocks
may sharpen the picture of the downgoing oceanic plate.

In addition to getting good data, the project team also had good luck
with equipment and logistics:
Out of 22 ocean-bottom seismometers (OBS's), only one was lost;
two others were snagged by fishermen and eventually returned.

At the end of the cruise,
the USGS equipment was cleared from the Sonne in less than 24 hours,
amazing the ship's captain and the co-chief scientist Flueh.
The Germans were also amazed by Dave Scholl.
As Mike reported to Steve Bohlen,
"[The Germans] knew of his world-class status as a scientist,
but they were unprepared for a 65-year-old, Herr Professor Doktor
who relishes getting his hands dirty.
Most German scientists with his credentials
pass time sipping coffee with the captain.

In contrast, Dave made every streamer and airgun party,
activities we dubbed "deck sports."
He cheerfully wrapped miles of tape around wires, tugged on airgun hoses, and
hustled everywhere to toss in his muscle....Dave definitely leads from the 

Another part of Mike's report to Bohlen reveals
just how far-reaching were the Sonne's effects:
"Steve Lewis (ex-USGS, now SRI) said that Navy, submarine, sound arrays
near Kamchatka were picking up odd noise from near Oregon and Washington.
Steve impressed the Navy types by guessing correctly that the odd sounds
were low- frequency bursts every 20 seconds.
He explained that he knew all about the Sonne because he had friends onboard."

Now begins the task of processing and interpreting the data,
which will take a couple of years.
Eventually the results will be used by scientists, planners,
government officials, and others to assess and mitigate earthquake hazards
in densely populated areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Geologic evidence suggests that a future earthquake there
may be as large as magnitude 9.
Flueh, E.R., Fisher, M.A., Bialas, Joerg, Childs, J.R., Klaeschen, Dirk, 
Kukowski, Nina, Parsons, Tom, Scholl, D.W., ten Brink, Uri, Trehu, A.M., and 
Vidal, Neus, 1998, New seismic images of the Cascadia subduction zone from 
cruise SO108 -- ORWELL,  Tectonophysics, 293, 69-84. URL:
Got Help? For S-1-96-WO, we would appreciate any information on -- contract, days at sea, dive count, funding, information specialist, information to be derived, kms of navigation, national plan, NGDC Info, organization, owner, ports, project, project number, scanned materials, seismic description, station count, station description, submersible, summary, tabulated info.
Type Webpage KMZ Arc         Metadata        
Bathymetry data bath    
Metadata data     txt  data  FAQ  xml
Navigation data nav    
Seismic data seis    
Times   060.times    

S-1-96-WO location map of where navigation 

equipment operated
S-1-96-WO location map of where navigation 

equipment operated

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