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Geophysicists Work to Improve Monitoring of Underwater Landslides


Narrator: This is Science Today. Geophysicists at the University of California , San Diego 's Scripps Institution of Oceanography have joined energy producer, British Petroleum, or BP, to develop better strategies and technologies for monitoring underwater landslides.

Chadwell: There were two objectives; for Scripps, it is to develop technologies that we could use at any type of slope site. It could be coastal areas or at mid-ocean ridges. So, this technology is transferable to different water depths.

Narrator: Scripps Geophysicist David Chadwell explains that BP is moving operations off into deeper basins and wants to improve the design and safety of offshore facilities. There's also renewed interest in understanding underwater landslides.

Chadwell: Primarily because of the catastrophic tsunami following the 2004 Sumatran earthquake. But also there has been an advancement in technologies that now make it possible to envision instrumenting slopes in the continental regions where landslides and tsunamis may be a problem.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.