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2023 AndesNet & SZ4D Scientific Community Workshop

by Diana C. Roman (Carnegie) and Cristian Farías (Universidad Católica de Temuco), Workshop Co-Chairs

Sep 13, 2023

Advancing Chilean Subduction Zone Science Together

From June 12-14, 2023, SZ4D and AndesNet co-organized a workshop in Termas El Corazón, Chile to plan future research efforts situated along the Chilean subduction-zone system, which has been identified as the primary focus region for coordinated, long-term study in the SZ4D Implementation Plan. The workshop had the specific aims of developing a consensus recommendation from AndesNet to SZ4D regarding the geographic region of SZ4D instrumentation in Chile, and to develop a plan for priority AndesNet activities (e.g., analysis of instrumental data, geological work, modeling) under the SZ4D Implementation Plan. At the end of the meeting, AndesNet finalized a proposal about the zones of interest of Chile, based on inputs and discussions during the meeting. The meeting also included presentations and discussion of ongoing research activities through a ‘lightning talk’ and a poster session. The workshop was attended by 83 people, including 63 scientists from the Chilean subduction-zone science community, 15 scientists representing SZ4D, and 5 representatives of the U.S. and Chilean governments. A significant portion of the attendees (20%) were graduate students and early career scientists. More than half of the total of participants had not attended the first joint workshop in 2022.

An early-career symposium was held on the first morning of the workshop to promote networking between early career scientists from different institutions. The main meeting opened with a series of remarks from Chilean and U.S. Agencies followed by questions to agency representatives from meeting participants, an overview of recent activities and progress in SZ4D, and a review of the results of a pre-workshop survey to AndesNet participants regarding geographic regions of interest within Chile followed by plenary discussion of survey outcomes. The second day of the meeting began with three invited talks on possible MultiArray zones that arose from the AndesNet survey. Participants then broke into smaller multidisciplinary groups to discuss array configuration options and zones of overlap for MultiArray, and the results of these discussions led to the identification of 5 configuration options. The groups then reconvened to discuss these 5 options and the rationale for SZ4D/AndesNet activities along with priority activities in any segment of the Chilean subduction zone. Following plenary discussions, the participants achieved consensus on a ranked set of 3 priority zones for MultiArray at the end of the second day. The final day of the meeting focused on coordination and collaboration needs and strategies both within Chile and between partner countries. Following a plenary presentation from NSF on the mechanisms available to support coordination and collaboration, mixed small groups met to discuss immediate opportunities and mechanisms in Chile to do collaborative subduction zone science, and actions that AndesNet and SZ4D should undertake to facilitate these and overcome challenges in the next 2-3 years. These discussions were followed by a plenary discussion on how to integrate and support activities and deployments that are not in prioritized MultiArray locations. The meeting ended with a plenary panel composed of representatives of SZ4D and AndesNet aimed at formulating a joint 2-3 year ‘roadmap’ for continued scientific and community-building activities.

Meeting Outcomes


The key outcome of this workshop was a formal consensus recommendation from AndesNet to SZ4D regarding 1) the optimal geographic location to install the instrumental arrays contemplated by the initiative and 2) a list of scientific activities that could be developed beyond the arrays. After a fruitful discussion based on scientific/technical arguments, the Chilean and Argentine participants voted for one of the 5 possible configurations of proposed arrangements, with the results indicating a strong degree of convergence and consensus supporting the choice of central-southern Chile as the ideal place to install the SZ4D networks. Importantly, other areas to the north, south and east of the defined zone were also agreed upon and should be considered by the initiative. In addition, a wide list of possible activities was generated which is now being analyzed to converge to a unified list. Finally, the meeting culminated with a series of recommendations for possible actions in the short and medium term that AndesNet could follow in order to consolidate the collaboration network and expand its reach in Chile, Argentina and internationally. Immediately following the meeting, representatives of the AndesNet Executive Committee and the SZ4D Steering Committee, accompanied by the NSF representative who participated in the meeting and representatives from the US embassy in Chile, met for an hour with the Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation (CTCI) Aisen Etcheverry. Discussions focused on the scope of the initiative and the interest of the SZ4D and AndesNet communities in active participation at the highest level in it. The response was very positive and we agreed to start a collaborative discussion with the CTCI Ministry in order to materialize this intention, which we hope can include concrete financing possibilities for AndesNet.

Participants at the 2023 AndesNet & SZ4D Scientific Community Workshop in Termas el Corazón, June 2023. Photo credit: Anaïs Férot

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