The Sumatran Fault is analogous to the San Andreas Fault, but much less understood; a quick Google Scholar search brings up ~1000 publications for the Sumatran Fault, and ~60,000 for the San Andreas! The Sumatran Fault traverses the entire ~1900 km length of Sumatra and runs close to major population centers. It thus presents a significant seismic hazard to the region. The Sumatran Fault Monitoring Project (SuMo) aims to address our lack of knowledge with a dense, campaign and semi-permanent 85-station GPS network centered around the Sumatran Fault.
The network was conceived and built by Ashar Muda Lubis (formerly a Research Fellow in our group, now at Bengkulu University) and Iwan Hermawan (Research Fellow at EOS). The day-to-day logistics of the network are managed by Rio Sahputra, a graduate of Bengkulu University.
The campaign surveys are run by students from the University of Bengkulu, giving this project not only scientific but also important capacity-building goals, training a new cohort of geodesists in West Sumatra. In addition, most of the SuMo stations are installed in schools - our "SuMo Goes to School" program aims to communicate information about SuMo science and earthquake hazards to teachers and students in the schools that host a station.
We started the SuMo network in 2012. Most sites are surveyed only a few times per year, but some are continuous or semi-permanent. The SuMo team will be doing the 4th occupation of some of the sites in the coming year, so we hope to have our first velocity estimates soon!
The gallery below contains some photos from the field.
Photo credit: Paul Morgan