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October 11, 2023, 12:00 pm-12:50 pm


TU students and faculty join Geoscience in hearing from Dr. Steve Roche at the GeoSeminar Title: ‘Monitoring Seismicity in Guatemala – An SEG Geoscientists Without Borders (GWB) Project’

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Approximately 1,502,000 people live within the Zacapa, Chiquimula, El Progresso, Jalapa and Izabal Departments in Eastern Guatemala. Residential and commercial structures are rarely constructed with respect to earthquake code, representing a significant potential for loss of life and damage. Additionally, approximately 5,000,000 people live in the urban area of Guatemala City, capital of Guatemala. A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in 1976 in Guatemala resulted in ~23,000 fatalities. Establishing a seismicity monitoring array will provide real data to characterize the seismicity risk in this region, compile a quantitative earthquake event catalogue, and allow the development of an “earthquake early warning system” (EEWS) in the case of a high magnitude earthquake.
The foundation of this project will be the collaboration between project participants to increase community resilience in the event of a catastrophic earthquake. We combine the strengths, and seek to strengthen, the first responder (regional fire fighters and EMT groups), the Guatemalan Institution (INSIVUMEH) responsible for monitoring earthquake hazards, The University of Tulsa, Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala City, and USA Universities. Societal goals include community education in the geosciences, greater awareness of geohazards and ideally a reduction in disaster response time.

The above partnerships all work together towards the project goals of…
• Installing/upgrading a seismic monitoring array in Guatemala
• Collaborating with regional firefighting/EMT infrastructure (reduce disaster response time)
• Collaborating with Guatemala INSIVUMEH (increase resolution of existing array)
• Ascertaining the seismicity characteristics along the Polochic/Motagua fault system
• Providing a research network for developing an earthquake early warning (EEWS) system
• Engaging with Guatemalan Universities and High School STEM students for geoscience education, community awareness, disaster preparedness and community resilience

From May 2022 to October 2023, we deployed twenty-one 3C RaspberryShake seismometers in Guatemala, fully integrated into the INSIVUMEH earthquake monitoring network. Global, regional and local events have been observed, including one local earthquake swarm with over 600 events. In that instance, two RaspberryShake sensors were redeployed on short notice to provide small-offset observations of the swarm.

Brief Bio:

Dr. Steven L. Roche received his B.Sc. in Geophysics from the University of California, Riverside (1978) and PhD Geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines (1997). Research interests include time-lapse multicomponent seismology with applications to subsurface porous rock systems. Steve’s career in seismic imaging, hydrocarbon exploration and induced seismicity spanned 45 years. In 2017, he joined the Geoscience faculty at The University of Tulsa, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in petroleum seismology and near-surface geophysics. Steve is currently a Research Professor at TU, Adjunct Professor at OSU and geophysical consultant for hydrocarbon energy and CCUS clients.


October 11, 2023
12:00 pm-12:50 pm
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KEP 1190
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Keplinger Hall
430 South Gary Place
Tulsa, OK 74104 United States
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