UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — This March and April, an international team of researchers will install monitoring equipment inside an active fault zone off the coast of New Zealand, in the Ring of Fire, in the first-ever scientific drilling mission specifically designed to study slow earthquakes.

Led by Demian Saffer, professor of geosciences, Penn State, and Laura Wallace, geodetic scientist, GNS Science, the team will install observatories beneath the sea floor on two colliding tectonic plates, which may reveal links between slow earthquakes, large normal earthquakes and tsunami generation risk.

The expedition is funded through the National Science Foundation’s International Ocean Discovery Program. The Penn State researchers' efforts are supported by $165,000 in grants from the U.S. Science Support Program, which facilitates U.S. researcher involvement in the IODP.       More