AAAS 2019 EarthScope Sessions

Feb 15, 2019
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Marriott Wardham Park, Wilson room

American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting 2019

February 14-17, Washington, D.C.

EarthScope will hold two sessions at the AAAS meeting and host an EarthScope booth (#512). We hope to see you there! 


Earth’s Mantle Reveals Evidence of North America’s Storied Geological Past

Friday, February 15, 2019
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Session Presentations


Much of what happens at Earth’s surface is driven by action below the crust, in the mantle. The National Science Foundation’s ambitious 15-year EarthScope program examined the structure and development of the North American continent with unprecedented resolution, using three observatories and thousands of seismic, GPS, as well as other instruments in the field. These instruments provided the means to explore deep beneath the North American continent, where flowing rock layers push the landscape up and down, and imprints of past changes linger in the mantle’s fabric. For example, the Appalachian Mountains, once thought geologically long-dead because of their distance from a modern plate boundary, hover over dynamic roots that record the story of a once-active region. Combining data from disparate disciplines and time scales, ranging from paleomagnetic relicts to seismic rumbles, yielded an unparalleled new view of the continent. Researchers in this session expose the collisions, break-ups, and twists of continental history written in the slow-flowing mantle to better understand how Earth’s distant past continues to affect and shape the current world. This session is part one of a two-part series on Earth's mantle and crust.



Earth’s Surface Response to Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Groundwater: Bulge and Rupture

Friday, February 15, 2019
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Session Presentations


Disaster movies about volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and future water supply often misrepresent the science of these topics. New instruments measure geophysical features from tectonic plate shifts of millimeters per year to seismic waves that travel kilometers per second, yielding unexpected benefits to science examining Earth’s crust and below. For example, hydrologists and geodesists found they could measure the ground surface sinking after years of drought in California, leading to new ideas of groundwater monitoring with worldwide potential. Drilling directly into the San Andreas Fault revealed the fault’s structure and chemistry, building knowledge of earthquake hazard assessment. In the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where an oceanic plate slides under the continental North American plate as part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” scientists assess factors that will lead to the next inevitable mega-quake, which will affect major cities such as San Francisco and Seattle. In this session, scientists delve into how the Earth’s surface responds to the deeper mantle’s driving forces, providing the real stories behind potentially devastating natural phenomena. This session is part two of a two-part series about Earth’s crust and mantle.