2002 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting (WP02)

Venue: Wellington Convention Centre

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Event Date/Time: Jul 09, 2002 End Date/Time: Jul 12, 2002
Early Registration Date: May 31, 2002
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The following themes have been chosen for the meeting. These are not intended to restrict the range of sessions or papers to be presented at the meeting. However,
you may wish to categorize the session proposal under one of these themes.
Rheology and Deformation Along Major Plate Boundaries
Recent seismograph, GPS, and strainmeter networks from around the Pacific Rim are providing new data that bear on strain and rheology of rocks at all levels
of the crust and upper mantle. Studies of seismic anisotropy are providing information on finite strain and the rock mechanics of the mantle, while GPS and
strain networks are catching aseismic strain events that may or may not be the forerunner to larger seismic events. Active and passive source seismic
experiments have provided images of fault zones and crustal roots in collision zones, while electrical methods have imaged high conductivity regions indicating
the presence of fluids at depth. Geological field studies show evidence of past strain environments and numerical models of deformation show that rheological
variations are a key factor in tectonic style. All these studies, and others, provide clues to how the earth deforms in plate boundary zones, and thus contribute to
the more general topic of rheology.
Climate Variability and Change and Implications for the Antarctic and Pacific
Recent interest in assessing and attributing long-term trends in global climate has coincided with increased attention to the natural variability of aspects of
regional climate on timescales from years to decades. The Pacific region has been a particular focus of many relevant studies, and recent years have seen the
emergence of such issues as the long-period modulation of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation phenomenon, and the possibility of a distinct quasi- decadal
oscillation focused in the extratropical North Pacific and affecting the whole Pacific basin. Of particular concern for many South Pacific nations are relationships
between long-term variations/trends in climate and sea level variations, as many low- lying island states face the possibility of inundation during this century as a
result of expected sea-level rises. There has been considerable effort in recent years to understand the global carbon cycle and to link physical climate and
biological/biosphere variability. This has led to advances in our understanding of how primary productivity is controlled in the southern oceans, relationships
between biological processes in the ocean and dimethyl sulfide production (and consequent atmospheric optical properties), and in how various fish stocks
respond to climate variability and change. Special Sessions are sought relating to this theme, covering all aspects of observational, modeling, theoretical and
predictive studies of the general climate system. In particular, sessions are sought that focus on the South Pacific, southern oceans and Antarctica, and/or that
bring together aspects of research in atmosphere and ocean circulation, biological systems, and risk/hazard management.
Space Weather - Impacts and Prediction
Solar terrestrial physics research continues to improve our knowledge of the physical processes by which solar events lead ultimately to changes in the Earth's
immediate environment, described collectively as Space Weather. The application of this knowledge to the development of reliable space weather forecasting
techniques is essential for the reliable operation of space-related technologies. Hemispherical and regional differences can be expected in space weather effects
due, for example, to the asymmetry of the Earth's magnetic field. Effects in the southern Pacific region can be quite different to other regions of the globe due to
differences in ionospheric behaviour. Special Sessions under this theme are sought describing observations, modeling, forecasting and prediction methods
relevant to Space Weather in general, but in the southern Pacific region (including Antarctica) in particular.
Cities on Active Faults
Many cities around the Pacific rim are vulnerable to large earthquakes. Wellington's position above a subduction zone, and on a network of strike slip faults
makes the theme particularly appropriate for this conference. There will be an associated field trip looking at examples of active faults within the Wellington
urban area, and the way that local government is attempting to manage these hazards. Current research is aiming to to understand the risks associated with living
close to active faults: paleoseismicity, geodetic and seismic monitoring, probabilistic seismic hazard assessment, seismic wave modeling, microzoning,
development of building and planning codes, and seismic design and construction, all contribute to an improved understanding of the hazard, risk, and potential
effects of major fault rupture. Special sessions are sought to bring together some or all of these disciplines, and the participation of end-users such as emergency
managers, city planners, economists, engineers, and the insurance industry is encouraged.