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Shipboard Researchers Image Haiti Earthquake Fault


Scientists are sailing off the coast of Haiti to assess the recent earthquake there, and the potential for more. This is the latest update, emailed by chief scientist Cecilia McHugh from the research vessel Endeavor.

(Read the full story of the project, involving the Earth Institute and other major institutions.)

Today we surveyed the Baie de Grand Goave, west of Port-au-Prince, where we crossed a scarp that we are pretty certain is the offshore extension of the Enriquillo fault [the main fault that caused the Jan. 12 earthquake]. The fault scarp is best displayed on the side-scan sonar images (left) but was also captured on the multibeam bathymetry. Our initial findings show that this scarp trends 260 degrees, very close to the predicted path of the Enriquillo fault across the shelf. The plan is to conduct a chirp and side-scan sonar survey tomorrow from a Zodiac boat in the Baie.

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13 years ago

An impressive mission participated in by an even more impressive list of scientific bodies and institutions.

The project will yield data essential for determining where to resettle victims, and how strong homes and other structures must be to make them earthquake-proof.

…not to mention information required to predict the timing and severity of future quakes.

Amy Waterman
Amy Waterman
13 years ago

Certainly an honorable task staffed by an entire host of scientific authorities.

And, sure, the data will tell a story. But my question is “for what good”? In Haiti, we’re talking extreme poverty so the victims will resettle where they can afford. A big percentage must be squatters.

Constructions standards for squatter housing?

To solve Haiti’s problem requires a solution to poverty.