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Geo-engineering Extreme Events Reconnaissance Underway in Ecuador

Matt Ball on April 27, 2016 - in Corporate, Maintenance

Civil and geotechnical engineering professor Clinton Wood is in Ecuador this week studying the affects of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck the South American country April 16.

Wood is participating in a Geo-engineering Extreme Events Reconnaissance, or GEER, mission sponsored by the National Science Foundation. GEER conducts reconnaissance efforts of extreme events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. The team will gather data to advance understanding of earthquakes and their engineering effects. Wood will assess and analyze damage to buildings and other structures.

He has participated in many GEER missions, including a national team that studied the effects of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

Wood’s research focuses on the dynamic characterization of soils. He uses broadband seismometers to measure low-intensity stress waves created by urban or natural noise sources, such as ocean waves. By measuring the frequency and wavelength of these waves as they pass through arrays of seismometers, Wood can calculate the shear-wave velocity and layering of the soil underneath the arrays. These shear-wave velocity profiles help engineers better understand ground motions recorded during earthquakes and design buildings that can better withstand future earthquakes.

To learn more about Wood’s research, visit sites.google.com/site/clintonmwood/home.

A short video about Wood’s research can be viewed on the Research Frontiers website atresearchfrontiers.uark.edu/2016/characterizing-soil-composition/.

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