Workshop on differentiating tectonic and oceanographic signals in seafloor pressure data

Matt Wei matt-wei at
Sun Jan 23 19:20:26 UTC 2022

Dear Colleagues,

A 1-day Zoom mini-workshop on pressure seafloor geodesy will be held on 
March 15^th , 2022. This mini-workshop will bring together a group of 
geophysicists and physical oceanographers to discuss the challenges and 
opportunities of pressure seafloor geodesy and continental margin 
circulations.It will also explore potential synergies and start the 
process of developing plans for closer collaboration between the two 

Please register here as soon as possible but no later than February 4^th 
, 2022:

This mini-workshop will be held tentatively between 8 AM – 4 PM (Hawaii 
Time) on March 15^th , 2022. You may choose to attend only part of it 
due to time difference and other commitments. There is a question about 
this in the registration.

Please note that there is a session on March 4^th , 2022 in the Ocean 
Sciences Meeting, /OT18 Seafloor geodesy: An oceanographic perspective/, 
that overlaps the content of our workshop.You will be required to 
register the meeting to join that session. However, our 1-day ZOOM 
mini-workshop will be free of charge and open to all. During the ZOOM 
mini-workshop, we will provide short highlights of the ocean sciences 


On land, dense networks of GNSS receivers and frequent InSAR 
observations have transformed our understanding of the deformation 
associated with plate boundaries and volcanoes. In the oceans, geodesy 
is more challenging, but is critical for addressing many important 
problems, including understanding the patterns of coupling and strain 
release on megathrust faults in subduction zones.

A fundamental challenge of pressure seafloor geodesy is discriminating 
geodetic signals from those associated with oceanography. Tides can be 
easily filtered but the seafloor pressure signals related to other 
oceanographic processes can swamp those from slow-slip events and are 
hard to remove. At present, the two most common approaches to removing 
oceanographic signals are (1) the use of a reference station under the 
assumption that oceanography is spatially invariant on the scales of 
interest and (2) the use of the pressure predictions from global or 
regional circulation models that have been developed by physical 
oceanographers primarily to study circulation patterns in the upper 
ocean. Neither of these approaches fully remove oceanographic signals 
and as a result the detection threshold of pressure geodesy is quite 
high and there can be ambiguity in the details of the events that are 

On one hand, improved corrections require a better understanding of the 
physical oceanographic processes that affect seafloor pressure and 
ultimately the development of better models. On the other hand, data 
collected by geophysicists for seafloor geodesy can be used to constrain 
the models that physical oceanographers have developed. There are 
clearly opportunities for synergistic interactions between geophysicists 
and physical oceanographers. However, such synergies have not been 
explored very extensively, and there is quite limited involvement of 
physical oceanographers in seafloor geodesy.

*Expected outcomes*

A short report will be produced based on the discussions during the 
mini-workshop. The report will outline the challenges, list specific 
approaches to improving pressure geodesy through enhanced 
collaborations, and make recommendations for future interactions. 
Depending on the discussions during this mini-workshop, an in-person 
workshop might be held later in 2022 or early 2023.

*Confirmed participants*

Because prior discussions have been mostly within the marine geophysical 
community, we have confirmed the participation of the following physical 
oceanographers in order to ensure a quorum from that community:

·Alan Wallcraft (Florida State University)

·Bruce Cornuelle (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

·Chris Hughes (University of Liverpool)

·Daisuke Inazu (Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology)

·Kenneth Brink (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)

·Parker McCready (University of Washington)

·Randy Watts (University of Rhode Island)

Our hope is that this mini-workshop will attract the participation of a 
diverse group of scientists, and we particularly encourage early career 
participants. Please share this announcement widely with colleagues who 
you think might be interested.

This mini-workshop follows on from some discussions at last April’s 
/Future Directions in Seafloor Geodesy Community Workshop/, which was 
attended primarily by the marine geophysics community. The workshop 
report can be found here


·Matt Wei (University of Rhode Island)

·William Wilcock (University of Washington)


Meng "Matt" Wei
Associate Professor
Graduate School of Oceanography
University of Rhode Island

Tel: (401)874-6530 |
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