Media advisory 4 - Western Pacific Geophysics meeting


Final press conference schedule

Contents of this message

1. Press conference schedule and description
2. Attention PIOs: Sending press releases to WPGM
3. Press Registration Information (repeated from Media Advisory 1)
4. Press Registration Form
5. Who's coming

See also Media Advisory 3: (contains important visa information for noncitizens of the United States, including journalists).

1. Press conferences planned

The following press conferences have been organized for the Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting. They are subject to change: press conferences may be added or dropped; participants may change; the focus of a press conference may shift from what is stated here. All changes subsequent to this advisory will be announced in the press room at WPGM.

All press conferences will take place in the Press Room, Room 325B.

Cassini at Saturn: the latest developments
Monday, 16 August

The panelists will share some of the most recent discoveries about Saturn, made by the Cassini spacecraft and ground-based observations.


  • Carolyn Porco, Team Leader, Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem; Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado, USA;
  • Glenn Orton, co-investigator, Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA;
  • Thomas Widemann, Ground-Based Stellar Occultations Team, Paris Observatory, Meudon, France.

Sessions: P12A, P13B, P14A

Earth science on the Earth Simulator: Analyzing ocean and atmospheric currents
Monday, 16 August

Computer simulations are used to make predictions for both short time periods (e.g., routine daily weather forecasts), and for longer time periods (e.g., forecasts of global warming in response to expected increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases). In 2002, the world's most powerful supercomputer, the Earth Simulator, began operation in Yokohama, Japan. This press conference will present some exciting early results from the Earth Simulator, including simulations of very intense typhoons and simulation of the structure of the Baiu front over East Asia and Japan. In the ocean, the Earth Simulator has produced the first really adequate simulation of flow through the narrow straits between the islands of Indonesia, a feature which is important for understanding and predicting climate effects in a broad region of Asia and the Western Pacific.


  • Kevin Hamilton, Department of Meteorology and International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA;
  • James Potemra, International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA;
  • Wataru Ohfuchi, Earth Simulator Center, Yokohama, Japan.

Sessions: U21A, U22A, U23A, U24A

Studying volcanic eruptions to improve models
Monday, 16 August

Scientists and engineers in a variety of disciplines are seeking to better understand the nature of volcanic eruptions, in order to develop better models for the future. Ida will discuss a simple computer program to calculate non-stationary magma flow in a vertical conduit connected to a magma chamber, which has been developed as the first step toward a practically usable simulator of volcanic eruptions. Increasing importance has been attached to observation of airwave information from volcanoes. Ichihara's group has conducted underwater explosions, in order to study their impact on airwaves, the first time this has been done. Edmonds will describe intensive studies of the Soufrière Hills dome collapse on the Caribbean island of Montserrat last year, related to a series of eruptions that began in 1995.


  • Yoshiaki Ida, Graduate School of Life Science, University of Hyogo, Hyo, Japan;
  • Mie Ichihara, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan;
  • Marie Edmonds, Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Montserrat, West Indies (currently at U.S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Hawaii Volcanos National Park, Hawaii, USA).

Sessions: V21A, V22A, V23A

How hotspots and superswells shaped the Pacific domain
Tuesday, 17 August

The origin of the region in the northwestern Pacific known as the Darwin Rise has been attributed to deep-rooted superswells and large mantle plume heads, but the existence and role of mantle plumes is the subject of an ongoing debate. In this press conference and related session, Forsyth presents a new hypothesis for the formation of intraplate volcanic ridges, namely transport of mantle material towards a spreading ridge. Previous hypotheses attributed their origin to surface tectonic processes, mini-plumes, and shear in the upper mantle aligned with absolute plate motion. Sutherland presents evidence that deformation in Antarctica, combined with a new global mantle flow model, allows a reconciliation of an enigmatic problem in the Earth sciences, the bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. This new work supports the mantle plume hypothesis and suggests our knowledge of the tectonic history of Antarctic is incomplete. Tikku evaluates the relationship between tectonic processes and volcanism in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, showing that correlations are speculative, given difficulties in establishing the precise chronology of tectonic events and our incomplete knowledge of the temporal growth of volcanic features.


  • Rupert Sutherland, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Lower Hutt, New Zealand;
  • Donald W. Forsyth, Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA;
  • Anahita A. Tikku, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA.

Sessions: T12A, T13A

Low frequency tremors and slow slip subduction: the quiet quakes and what they mean
Tuesday, 17 August

Episodic tremor and slip (ETS) and deep low-frequency (DLF) earthquakes are recently discovered phenomena that appear to be related. ETS has been observed on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, in the the Nankai (Japan) and Cascadia (Canada/USA) subduction zones. Although the physical processes involved are still not clear, the exact location and extent of the ETS zone could prove critical for estimating the landward extent of the next megathrust rupture and for identifying periods of time during which a megathrust earthquake is more likely. In southwest Japan, ETS have been found by monitoring of crustal tilt to correlate with major activity of the non-volcanic deep tremor and is apparently related to the subduction process. The phenomenon is very similar to ETS detected in Cascadia and suggests that the tremor and slow-slip event might be observed in young subduction zones. Deep low-frequency (DLF) earthquakes have been usually observed near active volcanoes and attributed to magma activity. However, there are several examples of DLF activity beneath active faults in Japan with no volcanoes in the vicinity. These appear to be direct evidence of fluid activity beneath the earthquake zone. Participants:

  • Kazushige Obara, National Disaster Information Center, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Ibaraki, Japan;
  • Shiro Ohmi, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan;
  • Herb Dragert, Pacific Geoscience Centre, Geological Survey of Canada, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada.

Sessions: S13A, S14A

Plate tectonic models for the evolution of the Western Pacific region
Wednesday, 18 August

The Western Pacific region has a complex geological history and has suffered from numerous episodes of large-scale (hundreds to thousands of kilometers) deformation. These episodes are linked to westward movement of two tectonic plates (the Pacific and Philippine plates), which plunge ("subduct") into the Earth's interior underneath the overriding Australian and Eurasian plates. The process has caused deformation in the overriding plates, where the style of deformation has changed considerably in time and space. One of the major challenges for Earth scientists is to unravel and understand the progressive evolution of deformation close to such subduction zones. At the press conference, three scientists will present their latest plate tectonic models for geologically complicated regions in the Western Pacific. The presentations illustrate that plate boundary geometries in the Western Pacific region changed dramatically over a period of millions to tens of millions of years, resulting from complex interactions between the subducting and overriding plates.


  • Serge Lalleman, Dynamics of Lithosphere Laboratory, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Montpellier, France;
  • Wouter P. Schellart, Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia;
  • Kevin P. Furlong, Geodynamics Research Group, Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.

Sessions: T33A, T34A

2. Attention PIOs: Sending press releases to WPGM

Public information officers are encouraged to prepare press releases related to presentations at Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting. They will be displayed in the Press Room and made available to reporters covering the meeting.

The best way to get a press releas to WPGM is to ask a researcher attending the meeting to take it to the Press Room (Room 325B, Hawaii Convention Center) from August 16.

If that is not feasible, send the release to:
Harvey Leifert (hold for August 13 arrival)
Ala Moana Hotel
410 Atkinson Drive
Honolulu, HI 96814

(Hotel phone: 808-955-4811)

If a release arrives by August 14, it will be displayed from August 16. If it arrives on the 16th or later, it will only be displayed the following day.

Remaining press releases may be collected by noon on Friday, August 20, after which they will be scrapped.

3. Press Registration Information (repeated from Media Advisory 1)

Press registrants receive a badge that provides access to any of the scientific sessions of the meeting, as well as to the Press Room and Briefing Room. No one will be admitted without a valid badge.

Eligibility for press registration is limited to the following persons:

  • Working press employed by bona fide news media: must present a press card, business card, or letter of introduction from an editor of the publication.
  • Freelance science writers: must present a current membership card from NASW, a regional affiliate of NASW, CSWA, ISWA, or SEJ, or evidence of by-lined work pertaining to science intended for the general public and published in 2003 or 2004.
  • Public information officers of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies: must present a business card.

Note: Representatives of publishing houses, for-profit corporations, and the business side of news media must register at the main registration desk at the meeting and pay the appropriate fees, regardless of possession of any of the above documents.

4. Press Registration Form

The Press Registration Form is set up for online submission, but includes a link to a version that can be printed out and faxed or mailed. Go to:

The last day for advance press registration is August 6. You may also register onsite in the Press Room (Room 325B).

5. Who's coming

Helen Altonn, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Amitabh Avasthi, New Scientist
John Baer, Oahu Island News
David Briscoe, Associated Press
Kirk Fernandes, KHON-TV
Tara Hicks, SOEST - University of Hawaii
Trisha Jackson, Freelance
Christina Reed, Freelance

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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