IPOC (Integrated Plate Boundary Observatory Chile)

IPOC is a European-American network of institutions and scientists (GFZ, IPGPGEOMAR, CALTECH, several Chilean and German universities) organising and operating a distributed system of instruments and projects at Chile’s convergent plate margin. IPOC is dedicated to the study of earthquakes, deformation, magmatism, and surface processes. The Chilean margin, separating the South American and Nazca plates, hosts more than 25% of the global seismic energy release and exhibits some of the largest earthquakes recorded as only recently manifested by the disastrous M 8.8 earthquake of February 27th, 2010, in South Central Chile. It therefore offers an exceptional opportunity to study the interaction of these processes because of its variability in terms of climate as well as of the stage in the seismic rupture cycle, high process rates, and excellent archives. We will observe and quantify the accumulation of deformation and related processes with unprecedented precision in near real time, linking a range of instrumental methods (seismometers, strong-motion seismographs, creepmeters, GPS stations, InSAR and 3D optical surface imaging, tiltmeters, and magnetotelluric instruments) with the long-term geological record. Current planning following the integration of GEOMAR into our programme foresees the additional installation of volcano observatory components and marine instrumentation to observe the offshore forearc system as well as the interaction between deformation and magmatism.

History of earthquakes - Chile