GEON Newsletter : September 2006
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GEON Researchers Contribute to Development of Seismic Velocity Model of Continental U.S.

GEON researchers have been using newly compiled data and models to improve the understanding of crustal structure in the Western United States. GEON Graduate Research Assistant Greg Bensen and colleagues at the University of Colorado (Ritzwoller and Shapiro) have created a new seismic velocity model of the continental United States using a technique they developed. At the continental scale, this provides higher resolution maps which require more regional knowledge to interpret correctly. Resources pulled together for the GEON project such as maps of sediment thickness, crustal thickness, gravity anomalies, magnetic anomalies and other models are useful for analyzing such seismic models. These data and models, available through the GEON portal and usable in the GEON Integrated Data Viewer are helping Bensen along with other GEON researchers (Keller, Meertens, Seber and Wier) to more accurately constrain the structure of the Western United States. More science details can be found at

Surface Tomography map of North America
Figure caption:
Example of a surface wave tomography map of North America. Velocities measured from thousands of surface waves with a period of 12 seconds are inverted to create this map. The contours show sediment thickness. A 12 second Rayleigh wave is most sensitive up to about 15 km depth so one expects to see low velocities where the sediment is thick. The complete work is up to 60 seconds period and 100 km depth thus constraining both crustal and mantle structure. (click image to view a larger version)


Southern San Andreas Laser Scan Now Available via the GEON LiDAR Workflow

LiDAR image GEON Researchers have recently made the Southern San Andreas Laser Scan dataset (aka the "B4" project) available via the GEON LiDAR Workflow. This work, being hosted on the GEON portal, was unveiled via a pair of posters at the annual meeting of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) in Palm Springs ( Chris Crosby, from Arizona State, presentated a poster entitled "An Internet-based Tool for Accessing and Processing the Southern San Andreas (B4) LiDAR / ALSM Dataset". Ramon Arrowsmith (GEON PI, Arizona State) also presented a poster on the subject, "Tectonic Geomorphology and Earthquake Geology of the 1857 Reach of the San Andreas Fault: a new look from Airborne Laser Swath Mapping". These abstracts can be found at

The "B4" is a very high-profile, community-oriented dataset, involving more than 30 billion data points. Having this available via the GEON LiDAR Workflow, on the GEON portal, is an excellent opportunity for the user community as well as for the project.


GEON Research Presented at GSA Penrose Conference in Durham, England

Chris Crosby, GEON Researcher at Arizona State University, recently returned from a Geological Society of America (GSA) Penrose Conference in Durham, England. The theme of this meeting was "Unlocking 3D Earth Systems - Harnessing New Digital Technologies to Revolutionize Multi-Scale Geologic Models" ( Chris gave a talk entitled "A geoinformatics-based approach to the distribution and processing of integrated LiDAR and imagery data to enhance 3D earth systems research".


Geological Society of America Introduces New Geoinformatics Division

Based on the expressed community need for the use of cyberinfrastructure, and supported by many GEON researchers and collaborators, the GSA Executive Council has recommended the establishment of the Geoinformatics Division. This new Geoinformatics Division of the Geological Society of America will be introduced at the upcoming GSA meeting in Philadelphia (October 22-25). Its mission statement summarizes the Division's objectives:

The new Geoinformatics Division of GSA has a mission of promoting 'Data to Knowledge' through cyberinfrastructure. The Division will actively sponsor short courses, symposia and publications that emphasize information technology-supported discovery and integration of geoscience data leading to a more comprehensive understanding of the earth and planets as complex systems.

The new Division will have a booth in the exhibit area (Booth Number 204) during the Annual GSA meeting, and will be manned by Officers of the Division. You are encouraged to visit the booth during exhibit hours, help the Division plan its future activities, and register to be eligible for a prize (Geologic Map of North America). You are also invited to attend the open business meeting for the Division on 10/24/06 from 5.30PM to 7:30PM in Room 112A at the Convention Center. Further information regarding the Geoinformatics Division may be gained by contacting Krishna Sinha at


GEON Website Receives Facelift

GEON Website homepage GEON's website ( is dynamic by nature, a "work in progress" if you please, ever-changing to reflect the evolution of the project. As part of our continuous effort to improve and update our site and, in addition to the portal changes previously announced, we have made some major changes to our main pages. Some of these changes include:

  • A reorganization of the navigation links on the left side of every page;
  • The front page has been simplified to clarify the GEON mission and provide up-to-date information about news and events;
  • The GEON Portal is highlighted and an overview of the resources available with a Portal account are now included on the front page of the main site;
  • We updated the look and feel of the overall site, including a fresh color scheme.

Feedback received during our Portal Usability workshop was incorporated into the overall design of the GEON site, as well as a general update to its look and content. Readers' suggestions and input are welcome and may be submitted by emailing


Visit the GEON Booth at GSA

GEON at GSA GEON will host a booth at the upcoming Geological Society of America Fall meeting. This year's meeting will be held in Philadelphia from 22-25 October, and we'll be at booth #219 in the Exhibitor Hall. PIs and team members will be available to demo developments on the project and answer questions, so please take the time to come by and visit us!


NSF This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0225673 (GEON). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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