Below are paragraph summaries of Workshops, Town Meetings, and Theoretical Experimental Institutes (TEIs) that are MARGINS-sponsored or MARGINS-related. URLs to more complete information regarding each event (if available) are provided at the end of each summary.

From most recent:

Workshop: Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project, CRISP

October, 2003, GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany

Conveners: Roland von Huene, Cesar Ranero, Paola Vannucchi , Sanny Saito, Udo Barckhausen

Workshop held October 20-22, 2003 in Kiel, Germany. Purpose: The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) riser drillship Chikyu is capable of reaching the seismogenic zone of the Middle America convergent margin to investigate seismogenic behavior and subduction zone processes. JOI/USSSP sponsored an interdisciplinary workshop to discuss and define the goals, location, and site data for the Stage 2 CRISP drilling proposal for a deep hole into the proto-seismogenic zone. At this workshop, data and unpublished results from the German Special Project (SFB 574, “Volatiles and fluids in subduction zones”) were presented, unpublished geophysical data off the Osa Peninsula viewed, and data from the 2003 field season integrated into the two drilling proposals submitted to the IODP: CRISP Stage 1, 537A-Full2, and CRISP Overview, 537-CDP2. ^Top

Workshop:Waipaoa Focus Area (Source to Sink)

May, 2003, Gisborne, Wellington, New Zealand

Conveners: Steven Kuehl, Lionel Carter, Basil Gomez, Noel Trustrum

A Workshop on the Waipaoa Focus Area was held May 4-9, 2003, in Gisborne, Wellington, New Zealand. The goals of this workshop were: 1) to educate participants on recent, ongoing and future planned studies of the Waipaoa margin; 2) to stimulate collaborative working relationships amongst the participants, particularly between NZ scientists conducting research in the area and US scientists who wish to collaborate through potential future NSF-supported programs; and, 3) to generate a template for cooperative NZ-US research consistent with Margins Source-to-Sink goals for the Waipaoa focus area. The workshop included an educational component highlighting the most recent research results through field trips and key-note presentations in Gisborne and Palmerston North. Final discussion and planning sessions were held in Wellington. ^Top

TEI: Seismogenic Zone Experiment

March 2003, Snowbird, Utah USA

Conveners: Tim Dixon, Eli Silver, Kevin Brown, Kevin Furlong, Seth Stein, Casey Moore

Processes occurring on the shallow seismogenic interface between subducting and over-riding plates are responsible for generating the world’s largest earthquakes and tsunamis, and are the focus of significant efforts in the fields of seismology, geodesy, tectonics, and natural hazards. These processes were the focus of the SEIZE (SEIsmogenic Zone Experiment) initiative of NSF’s MARGINS program.

A five-day workshop was held in Snowbird, Utah, March 16-19, to review our current understanding, and plan for further studies of the Seismogenic Zone. Central America and the Nankai Trough, Japan, are two focus areas for SEIZE. While the meeting provided current information and syntheses about the characteristics of Central America, the Nankai Trough and other subduction zones as they relate to themes in the SEIZE science plan, a major emphasis was to address more general and theoretical topics related to the subduction zone and the earthquake process, to synthesize outstanding problems, and to plan future experiments and collaborations. The theoretical institute format was via a series of keynote presentations and impromptu talks and selected thematic poster sessions. ^Top

Field Workshop On The Chemistry And Fluxes Of Volatiles From The Central American Volcanic Arc

January 1-December 31, 2003, Nicaragua and Costa Rica

Convener: Tobias Fischer

This Workshop was fist of its kind to bring together international community of scientists who measure and sample volatiles using direct gas sampling, land- and space-based remote sensing, and melt inclusion studies. Approximately 80 people from 20 countries participated. All participants exchanged ideas, discussed advantages and disadvantages of the various techniques. The main focus of the workshop were field measurements at Masaya and Cerro Negro volcanoes, Nicaragua and Poas volcano, Costa Rica. International collaborations were established and will facilitate scientific work and exchange in the future.

Workshop: Subduction Zone Dynamics and Thermal Structure

October, 2002, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Conveners: Peter Van Keken, Scott King, Simon Peacock

During October 4-6, 2002, approximately thirty researchers assembled at the University of Michigan for a workshop on subduction zone dynamics and thermal structure. The workshop was supported by the NSF MARGINS program and the Department of Geological Sciences at University of Michigan. The purpose of the workshop was to address some of the major tasks facing the modeling community including: benchmarking and evaluation of existing numerical approaches, developing strategies to exploit increased computer power and improved numerical techniques, and furthering the integration of numerical modeling into experimental and observational studies. Workshop participants included both those who primarily develop subduction zone thermal models and those whose expertise lies primarily in experimental or observational techniques but who are interested in subduction zone structure and processes. ^Top

Workshop: Izu-Bonin-Mariana Subduction System

September, 2002, Honolulu, Hawaii USA

Conveners: Jim Gill, Simon Klemperer, Bob Stern, Yoshihiko Tamura, Doug Wiens

A four-day workshop was held in Hawaii in association with the Japanese Institute for Frontier Research on Earth Evolution (IFREE) to synthesize, prioritize, and plan for further advances in our understanding of the Izu, Bonin, and Mariana (IBM) arc system. Along with Central America, IBM is one of the two focus areas for the Subduction Factory experiment of the MARGINS program (See Subduction Factory Science Plan, available on the Subduction Factory web pages). The Subduction Factory experiment is an interdisciplinary effort to advance understanding of three fundamental aspects of mass and energy transfer in sub-duction zones: 1) How do forcing functions such as convergence rate and plate thickness regulate production of magma and fluid from the Subduction Factory? 2) How does the volatile cycle impact chemical, physical, and biological processes from trench to deep mantle? and 3) What is the mass balance of chemical species and material across the Subduction Factory and how does this balance affect continental growth and evolution?

The first two days of the meeting provided current information and syntheses about the characteristics of the IBM arc as they relate to themes in the Subduction Factory science plan. Day three addressed general topics important to the USA and Japanese Subduction Zone science plans. Day four was devoted to revising and planning future collaborations to meet these objectives. ^Top

Workshop: NanTroSEIZE (Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment)

July, 2002, Boulder, Colorado USA

Conveners: Sponsored by JOI-USSSP with support from ODP-JAPAN

The first U.S. NanTroSEIZE Workshop was held at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado on July 21-23, 2002. 77 participants from 7 countries, representing a broad variety of disciplines, spent 3 days developing the key elements of an integrated Science Plan. The primary outcome of the workshop was the development of three proposals submitted to the interim Science Advisory Structure (iSAS) of IODP.

The Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) is a multi-disciplinary, integrated study of the SW Japan subduction interface, with proposed deep drilling of the plate boundary fault system as its centerpiece. Great subduction earthquakes are responsible for ~90% of global seismic energy release and are among the most destructive natural hazards. The fundamental goal of the NanTroSEIZE project is to investigate poorly-understood faulting processes at depth. ^Top

Workshop: Community Sediment Model

February, 2002, INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder USA

Conveners: James P. Syvitski, Chris Paola, Rudy Slingerland

On February 20-22, 2002, some 60 researchers representing fields as diverse as glaciology, sedimentary geology, geomorphology, engineering, and geophysics met at INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder, to launch what was hoped to be a new era in quantitative modeling of the Earth's surface. The Community Sediment Model meeting was supported by NSF through the MARGINS Source-to-Sink program. NSF program managers Bilal Haq and Rich Lane and ONR program manager Dawn Lavoie, attended. Additionally, the workshop was funded with financial support from both marine and terrestrial geoscience divisions.

The forum was a workshop centered on a new initiative called the Community Sediment Model (CSM), which aimed to unite the scattered efforts of these various researchers and research communities in a common framework with a common set of support tools. The expected products for the CSM were (1) a set of flexible, modular modeling tools and protocols, developed by the community, that would be combined to support a wide variety of model approaches, goals, and time and space scales; and (2) a set of sophisticated "stand-alone" models created from these modular components for application in predicting surface processes. These models would support studies of basic science questions related to Earth surface dynamics as well as work on applied problems including river and coastal zone management, assessment of risk from natural hazards, and resource exploration and development. The CSM workshop goal was to produce the blueprint for this effort.

Building a Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System” (Publication)


Town Meeting: Central America

December, 2001, AGU, San Francisco, California USA

Conveners: Eli Silver, Cesar Ranero, Peter La Femina, Jeffrey Marshall

Two of the primary initiatives of the MARGINS program are the Seismogenic Zone and the Subduction Factory. Central America is a central focus in each of these initiatives. A town meeting was held on Monday, December 10, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, in Room 133 of the Moscone Center, to discuss the results of the July, 2001 workshop in Costa Rica and to focus on several main initiatives that arose from the workshop. The July workshop was organized into the following sections: 1. Role of incoming plate structure and plate kinematics on earthquake behavior and tsunami generation; 2. Role of fluid, mass, heat, and volatile fluxes on seismogenic behavior; 3. Effect of incoming plate structure on arc geochemistry and volcano behavior; 4. Crust and mantle fluxes and evolution; 5. Effects on local populations. ^Top

Town Meeting: Nankai Seismogenic Zone Experiment

December, 2001, AGU, San Francisco, California USA

Conveners: Gaku Kimura, Harold Tobin, Hitoshi Mikata, Shuichi Kodaira, Pierre Henry

This “second annual” Nankai Town Meeting was organized as a forum on progress toward the goals of characterizing the seismogenic zone at the
Nankai margin, focusing especially on potential IODP drilling. Scientific interest
in this margin—one of the two U.S. MARGINS focus areas for seismogenic
zone research—has long been high, but reached a new peak at the 2001 AGU
meeting with two full days of Nankai-devoted sessions. ^Top

Workshop: MARGINS Source-to-Sink Research Program

August, 2001, NSF Headquarters, Arlington, Virginia USA

Conveners: MARGINS Steering Committee

The MARGINS Steering Committee appointed a group of scientists who met
on 27-28 August at NSF Headquarters with the specific intent of composing an
executive summary for the Source to Sink initiative. Specifically, the group was
charged with outlining the implementation plans for research in the Waipaoa
and Fly River dispersal systems and to highlight the compelling science this
research will accomplish. The outcome of these deliberations were posted on
MARGINS Website in early September, 2001, and are contained in the Executive Summary to the Science Plan. ^Top

Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Drilling and Observatory - IODP

August, 2001, Tokyo, Japan

Conveners: Gaku Kimura, Harold Tobin, Pierre Henry, Hitoshi Mikada, Shuichi Kodaira

In response to the first IODP call for proposals, a preliminary proposal for Seismogenic Zone Experiment drilling at the Nankai Trough was submitted to iSAS in October, 2001. The proposal, largely developed at a workshop held August 10-12, 2001 in Tokyo, was submitted by the 40 member Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Research Group. It outlines a program of both riser and non-riser drilling designed to characterize the plate boundary thrust and associated splay faults from seaward of the trench to the up-dip end of the seismogenic zone. ^Top

Workshop: Central America Seismogenic Zone and Subduction Factory

July, 2001, Heredia, Costa Rica

Convenors: Eli Silver, Tim Dixon
Steering Committee: Julie Morris, Marino Protti, Roland von Huene, Donald Fisher

Two of the primary initiatives of the MARGINS Program are the Seismogenic Zone and the Subduction Factory. A series of workshops from 1997 to 1999 reinforced the significance of the Central America subduction zone as a prime focus for each of these initiatives. Field programs are underway, one drilling leg has occurred and a second is planned to focus on these objectives. By the summer of 2001 a significant amount of data had been obtained and processed, and it was time to assess what exists, to integrate land and marine data, and to discuss what is needed for the future. It was also a time to encourage modeling of these processes and to more fully integrate Central American scientists into these efforts.

To meet these needs, a workshop was organized and held July 9-13, 2001, at the Hotel La Condesa in Heredia, Costa Rica. The Workshop was titled: Central America Seismogenic Zone and Subduction Factory.

Major foci of the workshop included:

Workshop: Rupturing of Continental Lithosphere in the Red Sea/Gulf of Suez

March, 2001, Sharm-el-Sheikh, Sinai, Egypt

Conveners: James Cochran, Michael Steckler, William Bosworth

A MARGINS workshop on Rupturing of the Continental Lithosphere, concentrating on scientific and logistical issues pertinent to the northern and central Red Sea/Gulf of Suez, was held during March 17-23, 2001, on the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. Support for the workshop was provided by the National Science Foundation. The workshop participants included 40 scientists from the United States, 12 scientists from the countries bordering the Red Sea, and 8 other international experts. The meeting included a 2 1/2-day field trip along the Gulf of Suez in the Sinai Peninsula to enable the participants to examine rift tectonics and stratigraphy of this region, and most importantly, to allow for informal interaction between participants prior to the formal workshop. The group then convened in Sharm el-Sheikh at the southern tip of Sinai for a 2 1/2-day workshop. The meeting summarized past and present research on rifting and rifting problems in the northern and central Red Sea/Gulf of Suez. In addition, plans for coordinated research and an implementation strategy were explored at the workshop by the participants.


Town Meeting: Nankai Subduction Zone

December, 2000, AGU, San Francisco, California USA

Conveners: Casey Moore, UC Santa Cruz, Tom Shipley, Univ. Texas, Asahiko Taira, Univ. Tokyo

After a full day of talks and posters on the subject, approximately 125 scientists continued with a Nankai subduction zone "Town Meeting" on December 15, 2000 at the San Francisco American Geophysical Union meeting, co-sponsored by InterMARGINS and U.S. MARGINS. The Nankai subduction zone, a site of great earthquakes and a relatively shallow subduction system, is one of two focus sites for Seismogenic Zone Experiments (SEIZE) identified by the U.S. MARGINS program. The objective of the meeting was to provide an informal setting to review ongoing research activities, develop new collaborations and identify important shared scientific issues. Brief descriptions and updates were made of programs off central Nankai, including a refraction experiment across the subduction zone and Shikoku Island, an offshore 3-D seismic reflection program, micro-earthquake observations aimed at defining the shallow (up-dip) seismicity and recent and planned ODP drilling. A 3-D reflection program examined active thrusting in eastern Nankai. Some of the other regional studies mentioned were crustal deformation GPS, seismicity, submersible, heat flow and geologic investigations. Many of these projects were the subjects of scientific papers presented at the AGU.


Workshop: Rupturing of Continental Lithosphere in the Gulf of California/Salton Trough Region

October, 2000, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Conveners: Joann Stock, Arturo Martín-Barajas, Michael Steckler

In October 2000, a workshop was held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to discuss the state of knowledge of rifting processes and directions for future studies of continental rupturing in the Gulf of California/Salton Trough region. The workshop provided a forum where interested Mexican and U.S. scientists were able to meet, discuss, and plan collaborations related to the scientific objectives agreed on by the community and refined at that meeting. The discussions allowed participants to understand work that was being done at that time and exchange ideas necessary for planning and proposing new directions of investigation.


Workshop: Source-to-Sink Lake Tahoe

September, 2000, Lake Tahoe, California USA

Conveners: Chuck Nittrouer, Neal Driscoll

The Lake Quinault S2S meeting in September-October 1999 was followed by a second meeting, held at Lake Tahoe, CA, in September 2000, with the objective of examining the relationships among processes relevant to sediment production, transport, accumulation, and preservation on margins across a large range of temporal and spatial scales. In particular, experts were invited to present various aspects of the selected focus sites (Papua New Guinea and New Zealand) consistent with the science plan, which in turn, should help maximize synergy and use of facilities between national and international researchers, minimize duplication and dilution of effort, and plan an implementation strategy.


TEI: Inside the Subduction Factory

August, 2000, Eugene, Oregon USA

Conveners: Marc Hirschmann, Terry Plank

Inside the Subduction Factory was held on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene on August 20–25, 2000. The TEI included a four day short course and a half day workshop. Midway through the TEI, attendees sought inspiration on a one-day field trip to the young volcanic terrain of the Central Oregon High Cascades. The TEI focused on processes occurring between ~50-150 km within the subducting slab and the overlying mantle wedge. Many processes critical to the functioning of the Subduction Factory occur over this depth interval, including progressive metamorphism of the slab, geodynamic flow in the mantle wedge, and the advection of fluids and melts upwards to the volcanic arc.

The short course was divided into three segments. The first focussed on the subducting slab, the second on the overlying mantle wedge, and the third on the Subduction Factory focus areas. The "slab" and "wedge" segments each lasted 1 1/2 days and were driven by keynote addresses giving perspectives on the geodynamics, experimental petrology, geochemistry, observational geophysics, and rheology of these systems. ^Top

TEI: Rheology & Deformation of the Lithosphere at Continental Margins

January, 2000, Snowbird Conference Center, Utah USA

Conveners: Garry Karner, David Kohlstedt

The first MARGINS Theoretical and Experimental Institute, a two-day workshop funded by the NSF, was held at Snowbird, Utah on 27-28 January, 2000. The purpose was to investigate "Rheology and Deformation of the Lithosphere at Continental Margins," the goal being to formulate a science plan for the focused investigation of faulting, strain partitioning, and magma emplacement at sites of active continental rifting where there is a transition to initial seafloor spreading. This science plan now serves as one of the templates for NSF funding of the MARGINS Program. The bringing together of researchers and students from a number of different fields to initiate a cross-disciplinary inquiry into the rheology and deformation of the lithosphere provided valuable insights into the system as a whole. ^Top

Workshop: Source-to-Sink Lake Quinault

September-October, 1999, Lake Quinault, Washington USA

Conveners: Neal Driscoll, Charles Nittrouer

In September-October 1999, an NSF- and JOI-sponsored workshop at Lake Quinault, WA, allowed representatives from the scientific community to meet, discuss and create a science plan for a MARGINS initiative, termed Source-to-Sink, to solve fundamental problems in sedimentology and stratigraphy. The resulting science plan outlined important directions for future research, recommended strategies for accomplishing this research, and considered candidate sites for detailed interdisciplinary studies in light of the site criteria accepted at the workshop. The science plan is expected to provide a blueprint for taking geomorphologic, sedimentary and stratigraphic processes to a substantially higher level of understanding. The Lake Quinault meeting was followed by a second meeting, held at Lake Tahoe, CA, in September 2000. ^Top

Workshop: The Subduction Factory

June, 1998, La Jolla, California USA

Conveners: Julie Morris, Terry Plank

Approximately 65 scientists, representing the wide range of disciplines required for integrated studies of the Subduction Factory, attended the workshop, June 6-9, 1998 in La Jolla, CA. About half were invited participants, with half selected (by MARGINS and the workshop organizing committee) from open applications. About 25% of attendees were international participants from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

The mandate for the workshop was to build/identify community consensus for scientifically and geographically focused interdisciplinary studies at selected margins, to identify the needs of the experimental and theoretical community, and to coordinate and integrate efforts across the subduction zone community. ^Top

Workshop: The Seismogenic Zone Experiment

June 3-6, 1997, Waikoloa, Hawaii USA

Conveners: Greg Moore, Casey Moore

Most of the world's great earthquakes and tsunamis initiate in the zone of underthrusting or seismogenic zone of subduction zones. The Seismogenic Zone Experiment (SEIZE) hopes to understand the relationship between earthquakes, deformation, and fluid flow in this environment.

Seismogenic zones selected for focused study must have historic earthquake activity, be imagable by seismic reflection, be geographically accessible, and ultimately be penetrable with a riser drillship. At the SEIZE workshop application of these criteria to candidate localities targeted the Japanese Islands (Nankai Trough and Japan Trench) and Central American (Costa Rica and Nicaragua) for SEIZE programs.

Following recommendations, a group of approximately 55 experts in different fields gathered to briefly review what is known, followed by discussion of what needs to be done to understand this process. The goals were to better define the nature of the seismogenic zone, to prioritize potential scientific studies, and to organize international teams to focus on different aspects of the structure and behavior of the seismogenic zone in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.