14 Nov 2005

US scientists setting up seismic monitoring stations in both Samoas

10:15 am on 14 November 2005

A group of US scientists is setting up seismic monitoring stations across the Samoan archipelago.

The stations will be established from American Samoa's Manu'a islands to Savaii in Samoa over the next two years.

Many tremors felt in both Samoas are not picked up by seismic monitors around the world.

A spokesman for Samoa's Ministry of Natural Resources, Mulipola Ausetalia Titamaea, says the local stations will help protect people in the region from tsunamis and contribute to academic knowledge about the phenomenon.

"We could be able to link this to the Pacific tsunami warning centre and also to a centre in Albequerque for more information to be provided to those who are monitoring the travel times of earthquake-related tsunamis."

Mulipola says the data will also help scientists find out how the Samoan island chain was formed.... through a volcanic mid-plate hotspot like Hawaii, or by a mid-ocean ridge, such as Iceland.