Research Topic

Frontiers in Seafloor Geodesy

About this Research Topic

Seafloor geodetic methods, such as various applications of acoustic ranging including GPSA-Acoustic survey, seafloor and downhole pressure monitoring, allow for measuring crustal deformation over Earth’s vast areas that are covered by water and therefore inaccessible to standard geodetic techniques. Since the ...

Seafloor geodetic methods, such as various applications of acoustic ranging including GPSA-Acoustic survey, seafloor and downhole pressure monitoring, allow for measuring crustal deformation over Earth’s vast areas that are covered by water and therefore inaccessible to standard geodetic techniques. Since the 1980s, when a concept of seafloor displacement monitoring with precise acoustic ranging was presented, significant efforts have been made to realize seafloor geodetic measurements and to bring new discoveries regarding the motion and deformation of oceanic tectonic plates, earthquake processes in subduction zones, and the deformation of submarine volcanoes and spreading centers. Important non-tectonic targets for seafloor geodetic measurements include monitoring of slope stability and underwater mass movements, the underwater extraction of hydrocarbons, and the sequestration of CO2 into the ocean floor.

Although remarkable technological progress has been made to increase the precision and scales of observations with improving the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the instrumentation, a number of difficulties to overcome in seafloor geodetic observations still remain. Reduction of noises related to the physical oceanographical fluctuations must be a primary issue. Long-term stability of instruments on the seafloor or in the sub-bottom boreholes is of a fundamental issue to increase the chances of variable subtle but significant tectonic signals. Accumulation of field observation data help to understand characteristics of non-tectonic fluctuations and to develop methods to enhance signal-to-noise ratio in terms of geodetic measurements. Careful assessment of long-term behavior of instruments have led more sophisticated observation styles.

This Research Topic aims to gather field experiences and/or new ideas and perspectives obtained through these efforts in order to leverage them for further advancement in seafloor geodetic research. This Research Topic will also provide an overview of the current state of the art, and future research direction, of seafloor geodesy.

We welcome articles addressing, but not limited to, the following themes:
• New discoveries based on long-term seafloor monitoring;
• Development and improvement of geodetic observation systems;
• New ideas for enhancement of data quality of offshore observations and for increasing efficiency of field operations; and
• Assessment of data quality of seafloor monitoring to understand the influence of ocean motions on geodetic monitoring and abilities of instruments.

Original Research, Method and Data Report articles are particularly welcome in this Research Topic.

Cover Image by Dr. C. David Chadwell from Scripps Institution of Oceanography


Keywords: Precise acoustic ranging and its application, Seafloor pressure monitoring, Downhole monitoring of sub-bottom formation, Emerging technology for sensing seafloor deformation, Characterization of noise on and under the seafloor


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript
30 September 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript
30 September 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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