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Jakarta Post

US research ship completes expedition in Mentawai

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Padang   /   Tue, June 23, 2015   /  07:54 pm

The R/V Falkor, a research ship owned by the US-based Schmidt Ocean Institute, has completed its oceanic research on a high seismic risk area in the Mentawai waters, West Sumatra.

'€œThe research team has managed to carry out a high-resolution mapping on the bottom of the sea, where tectonic plates meet each other,'€ the expedition'€™s head Satish Singh said in Padang on Tuesday.

He was speaking after the vessel docked at Teluk Bayur Port, Padang, after sailing for 32 days in the research expedition called the Mentawai Gap-Tsunami Earthquake Risk Assessment (Mega Tera).

Ten researchers from the Earth Observatory Singapore Nanyang Technological Institute (EOS-TTU), the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) participated in the expedition.

Singh said during the expedition, the scientists researched earthquake-related tsunami risks in Sumatra'€™s western coast area and tried to discover relations between earthquakes and tsunami.

He said the two research locations were the Wharton Basin, where two massive earthquakes occurred in 2012, and the Mentawai Gap, areas on the western side of Siberut Island.

The IPGP ocean geophysics researcher said the Mentawai Gap was an active Sumatra-Andaman subduction geological area, which had never experienced massive earthquakes during the last 200 years.

'€œThe research team managed to take high resolution seismic data and countenance data from the bottom of the sea in the two locations,'€ said Singh.

He said that during the research the team found active fractures in the Wharton Basin and in the Mentawai Gap area and it also found active fractures.

'€œThe expedition findings give a better understanding to the scientists to discover natural causes of tsunami so it is hoped that they can determine proper measures in disaster mitigation,'€ said Singh.

LIPI researcher Adam Budi Nugroho said that in the research, the team used two pieces of equipment, namely for bathymetry and seismic reflection.

He said bathymetry used audio waves to capture the topography of the bottom of the sea while seismic reflection was a kind of airgun shot to the bottom of the sea to see the ocean sediment structure. (ebf)(+++)

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