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Jason Chaytor, PhD

I work on a variety of marine geological and geohazard topics including sedimentary processes and geochronology of submarine slope failures, deep-sea sedimentary systems, submarine geomorphology, and neotectonics in marine and near-shore environments.

Dr. Jason Chaytor is a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center.  Jason conducts research on issues related to marine geohazards including submarine landslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, and plate tectonics and shallow- and deep-water sedimentary processes on Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific margins of the U.S. and in the northeast Caribbean.  He is the current principle scientist for the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Sediments Laboratory.

Research Interests

Marine Geohazards

Marine geohazards are sudden and extreme geologic events that affect coastal areas and seabed infrastructure on regional and transoceanic scales.  The hazards include submarine earthquakes, submarine slope failures, and tsunami generation. The sediment record of past offshore and coastal hazardous events is generally more complete in the marine environment than on land and can be investigated with geological and geophysical tools.  My research involves the identification and characterization of areas of the seafloor and subseafloor within and adjacent to the U.S. EEZ that record a history of fault movement or slope failure (or have the potential to be effected by these processes in the future).  Included in this work is the development of conceptual models of seafloor movement and local/regional sedimentation patterns and supporting geochronological frameworks, formulation, planning and performance of field sampling and geophysical imaging activities and laboratory analyses, investigation of local and regional sedimentation processes, and communication of event characteristics to modelers and other stake holders to aid in developing hazard assessments.

Marine Sedimentation Processes and Framework Geology

I investigate dynamic shallow-water (< 200 m) and deep-water sedimentary environments to characterize physical properties affecting acoustic propagation (ONR Mud Patch Project), to evaluate the hazard of recurring seafloor motion to critical offshore infrastructure, and in the development of regional geologic analysis of surfical geologic processes across multiple potential areas of interest in to the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project.