Testing the Potential of Wave Gliders for Ocean Exploration and Seafloor Geodesy in SE Asia

We are developing geophysical marine robots to probe the deformation of the seafloor. The end goal is to extend geodetic measurements offshore to better understand earthquakes, tectonic processes and tsunami hazards.

Preparing the wavegliderWaveglider softwareLaunching the waveglider

There is a seismic gap on the Sunda megathrust at the latitude of the Mentawai Islands, exposing the area, including the large city of Padang, to seismic and tsunami hazards. Our existing land based network (the SuGAr) is extensive here, but lacks resolution near the trench (and other offshore areas) preventing us from understanding the mechanism of tsunami generation and other aspects of megathrust dynamics. Seafloor geodesy can fill the observation gap. To accomplish this and also reduce the cost of seafloor geodesy, we will use autonomous marine robots (Wave Gliders). Seafloor geodesy with AUV/ROV is still in its infancy, so we are developing new hardware and software capacity accounting for the unique constraints of autonomous marine robots. Our goal is initially to test the potential of a single Wave Glider with a single station for earthquake and tsunami hazard monitoring.

Illustration of waveglider motion

Diagram of waveglider observations and acoustic stations in a subduction zone

Project Years

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Related Projects

Fault geometries and histories in western Nepal and implications for seismic hazards

The 2015 Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake, Nepal, was a reminder of the seismic hazard presented by the Himal...
Read Project Details

Bangladesh: Active Faults in the Chittagong-Tripura Fold Belt

To the west of the Intraplate Deformation zone, across the Indo-Burma Ranges, lies another large con...
Read Project Details

The impact of fault-bend folding and high resolution bathymetry on models of tsunami generation

In subduction zones, the greatest hazard from earthquakes often comes from tsunami waves. However, m...
Read Project Details

TREMBLE (Temporary REceivers for Monitoring BangLadesh Earthquakes)

The country of Bangladesh sits in a complex tectonic region on the eastern side of the India-Asia co...
Read Project Details

Slip rates and base level changes on the Main Frontal Thrust, Nepal

In 2014 and 2015, the Structural Geology group at EOS conducted seismic reflection acquisition in Ne...
Read Project Details

The Team



Principal Investigator

Subscribe to the EOS Newsletter

Stay in touch with the latest news, events, research, and publications from the Earth Observatory of Singapore.

Email is required

Email is wrong format

You Can Make a Difference

Partner with us to make an impact and create safer, more sustainable societies throughout Southeast Asia.
Make A Gift