Chinese and US Geophysicists to Meet to Investigate Cooperative Research Opportunities

Geophysicists from China and the US will exchange ideas for joint seismological and geodetic research in Boulder, Colorado, November 11-14, during the 2008 Bilateral Workshop under the Sino-US Earthquake Studies Protocol. One goal of the workshop is to develop the coordination needed for scientific collaboration to move forward efficiently, effectively, and in a timely fashion. The workshop is designed to jump-start scientific collaborations, including plans for extended visits between US and Chinese scientists. It will also encourage the exchange of data, methodology, and software; the training of students; and the collaboration and exchange of early-career scientists.

Since the first visit to China in 1974 by a US delegation of geophysicists, collaborations have reflected a spirit of cooperation among working-level seismologists in both countries. Chinese and US science managers recognize there is now an opportunity to advance and accelerate these collaborations and to further scientific understanding in three principal research areas: (1) natural hazards; (2) structure of the crust and uppermost mantle; and (3) crustal deformation and active continental tectonics. The time is right to pursue joint research more actively because seismological and geodetic instrumentation in China and the US are undergoing explosive growth.

China is a region of enormous interest to earth scientists everywhere, including those in the US. The area is notable as a collection of linked natural laboratories for studying individually the processes that build and destroy mountains, displace large terrains and pull apart the crust, and form and shape continents. These geologic provinces experience rapid change and present significant hazards, such as the destructive earthquake that occurred in May 2008. Cooperative geophysical research and education are profound, but need to be explored in the context of specific joint projects under the protocol.

For more information about the workshop and to view the program, visit