SUSTech oceanographers successfully recover ocean-bottom seismographs
Chris Edwards | 05/19/2020

Oceanographers from Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) have continued their ground-breaking research into ocean-bottom explorations. Their ongoing support for a global understanding of the ocean bottom has seen them collaborate with colleagues all around the world.

On May 14 and 15, research fellows Dan Liu, Zhipeng Huang, and Jian Wang from Professor Yang Ting‘s group from the Department of Ocean Science and Engineering (OSE) boarded the Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey Bureau’s “Marine Geology No. 4” scientific research vessel. As part of their mission, they have recovered four sets of their independently-developed Ocean Bottom Seismograph (OBS). Their recovery represents the successful completion of a seven-month test of the instrument in the northwestern basin in the South China Sea, with all OBSs recovered.

Six OBSs were initially deployed on October 19 last year. On November 2, two of them were recovered, with the remaining four sitting between 3800 and 4100 meters below sea level on the seafloor. The four OBSs collected 209 days of good-quality seismic data. For example, the OBS recorded high-quality 3-component seismograms from the 6.6 Mw earthquake in the Philippines (1600 km away) and a 6.8 Mw Indonesian earthquake (3150 km away).

The SUSTech-developed OBS is the core instrument for exploring the deep structure of the earth at the seafloor, and it is a grand challenge facing the marine seismology community in China. It represents three years of hard work of the OBS laboratory at OSE, featuring world-leading technology that has developed independently to fill in the gaps in high-end technology.

Over the last three years, the SUSTech OBS laboratory has worked together to overcome difficulties in tackling the critical technologies behind their progress. The laboratory has made a wide range of technological advances that support their OBS development. They have progressed to their fourth-generation of OBS, having conducted several sea trials and authorized many international patents.

Based on this seventh sea trial, the SUSTech OBS laboratory will produce 30 OBSs this year. It will begin large-scale OBS deployments across the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. These experiments will target the oceanic lithosphere and deep mantle beneath the seafloor. It will further enhance the contribution of Chinese scientists in the international field of oceanography.

2020, 05-19
By Chris Edwards

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Translated and Adapted By SUSTech Newshub

Proofread ByYingying XIA

Photo ByDepartment of Ocean Science and Engineering

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