Mary Tobin

Columbia Scientists Join International Workshop on Earthquake Research

By Suzanne Trimel

Columbia University earth scientists joined colleagues in Greece, Italy and Turkey July 30 to Aug. 6 for a planning workshop in Greece that they hope will lead to a coordinated international program of earthquake research and surveys on the North Anatolian fault, a major fault that runs from Turkey to the Greek mainland.

Both Greece and Turkey share a long history of destructive earthquakes related to this fault system and the scientists hope that this first-step meeting will help the people of the two countries build more disaster-resilient societies.

More than two dozen major international and Greek news organizations, including the Associated Press and Reuters, attended a news conference on Aug. 2 by the scientists in the Port of Piraeus, Greece, alongside Columbia's research vessel, the Maurice Ewing, following the two-day workshop by the scientists.

Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory took the lead in organizing the workshop. "We believe this collaborative dialogue among research institutions in four countries is a significant step toward further international cooperation on an issue of profound importance to the populations of the region," said G. Michael Purdy, director of Lamont-Doherty.

The scientists emphasized that the meeting was the first step in a progressive process to bring their ideas to their respective governments and funding institutions. A second meeting will be convened in the near future in Istanbul.

Click here for statements by the scientists at the news conference

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