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Opportunity to Provide Feedback for SZ4D Program

September 29, 2021

To those interested in USGS SZS and the SZ4D Initiative (Subduction Zones in Four Dimensions)...

3-panel image of subduction zone
a, Topographic shaded relief map of the Costa Rica margin (from Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) synthesis within GeoMapApp45). The Middle American Trench (MAT) is shown with a black line and black triangles on the upper plate. The 2011 coverage of the 3D seismic reflection volume (CRISP) is shown with a white rectangle. b, Inline 2150 from the CRISP volume showing the trench, frontal prism (green) and outer wedge with interpreted sections of slope sediments (yellow) and margin wedge (blue). c, Perspective view of the shallow megathrust looking seaward towards the trench and the frontal prism has been cut away. Inline 2640 (frontal prism) is shown for reference. The colour scales in a and c indicate depth below seafloor and grey denotes the seafloor. VE, vertical exaggeration; PFZ, Panama fracture zone; SZ, seamounts zone. (With permission from Emily Brodsky, UCSC)

Over the past two years the members of the SZ4D Research Coordination Network Steering Committee and thematic Working Groups have been collecting ideas and evolving plans from the subduction zone research community through town halls, webinars, special interest meetings, and other mechanisms.  They are soliciting your input to a set of draft reports summarizing the resulting thematic science drivers of an envisioned future SZ4D program.  The three draft chapters linked here are intended as core content of the SZ4D Implementation Plan, with each summarizing one of the scientific pillars of SZ4D: Faulting and Earthquake Cycles (FEC), Magmatic Drivers of Eruption (MDE), and Landscapes and Seascapes (L&S). Chapters laying out priorities for the Building Equity and Capacity in Geosciences (BECG) and the Modelling Collaboratory for Subduction (MCS) aspect of SZ4D will be posted soon.

Importantly, these chapters lay out the scientific strategy and location-based considerations for a long-term multi-faceted research effort, but do not specify geographic locations of focus for SZ4D activity. Those discussions are advancing quickly and draft reports addressing the potential locations for SZ4D and its collaborative data-gathering infrastructure, as well as its organizational structure, are all in preparation and will be circulated soon for input and comment.  Draft plans will be shared with funding agencies and  partners (including the USGS) in the very near future and will serve as the basis for future proposals to fund various elements of a future SZ4D. Please provide your feedback through these surveys on the Faulting & Earthquake CyclesMagmatic Drivers of Eruption, and Landscapes and Seascapes chapters and/or send email to

Your feedback would be most helpful by October 4th because initial conversations with funding agencies are beginning.

Thank you!
The SZ4D RCN Steering Committee

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