Thread: IRIS Receives NSF Award to Support Planning of Subduction Zone Observatory

Started: 2022-08-09 11:49:32
Last activity: 2022-08-09 11:49:32
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded nearly $500,000 to IRIS to
conduct activities focused on Subduction Zone in Four Dimensions (SZ4D).
SZ4D is an initiative in the research community to study subduction
zones – the places where tectonic plates converge and collide – through
both space and time, with a focus on the fundamental processes
underlying geologic hazards such as great earthquakes, tsunamis,
landslides, and volcanic eruptions. UNAVCO is a subawardee on this award
to IRIS. Additional funds were awarded by NSF to the University of
California, Santa Cruz and Georgia Tech.

The collaborative effort enabled by this Catalyzing SZ4D award will:

●establish a center for organizing SZ4D and building equity and capacity
using a Collective Impact model;

●oversee technical project management needs including instrumentation
cost estimates, time phasing, and project planning;

●organize workshops in preparation for geological, modeling, and
laboratory facilities.

IRIS and UNAVCO will provide technical expertise for project management
and lead the organization of a large community workshop in Fall 2022.
IRIS and UNAVCO staff will work closely with the SZ4D Executive
Committee, Steering Committee, and the four SZ4D Working Groups:
Landscapes and Seascapes, Faulting and Earthquake Cycles, Magmatic
Drivers of Eruption, and Building Equity and Capacity in Geoscience.
Some IRIS and UNAVCO staff may also serve on these and other SZ4D

In 2016, a community workshop was convened to explore the suite of
activities needed to develop a multidisciplinary Subduction Zone
Observatory program. The workshop report, “The SZ4D Initiative,”
identified three key components: 1) an interdisciplinary science
program, 2) a modeling collaboratory, and 3) a community infrastructure
program, which were developed through a NSF-funded Research Coordination
Network from 2018 to 2021 to establish a unified, concrete community
plan for a decade-long coordinated research effort. The newly funded
collaborative activities will directly affect high-priority elements of
the draft implementation plan and have identifiable, tractable
development needs that should be addressed prior to launch of a full
SZ4D program.

For more information including upcoming events, please go to the SZ4D
website at and sign up for the SZ4D
mailing list. A page is also available with information on this award at, with previous work
archived on the SZO/SZ4D page at
Perle M. Dorr
Public Outreach Manager
The IRIS Consortium
1200 New York Avenue NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
Direct: 202-407-7004
IRIS: 202-682-2220
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