This three-year award for U.S.-France collaboration in applied statistics involves Theodore Chang and a graduate student of the University of Virginia, Richard Gordon of Rice University, and Jean-Yves Royer, of the European University Institute of the Sea in Brest, France. The project, supported under the joint program of the National Science Foundation and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), is aimed at the development of refined statistical tools for the reconstruction of the past position of tectonic plates and for the assessment of errors in these reconstructions. Specific geophysical phenomena to be studied are the deformation of the oceanic lithosphere in the vicinity of spreading ridges (Central Atlantic Ocean) and across diffuse plate boundaries (Indian Ocean), and the comparison of hot spot reference frames.
This award represents the U.S. side of a joint proposal to the NSF and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). NSF will cover travel funds and living expenses of the U.S. investigators and graduate student. The CNRS will support the French researchers' visits to the United States. Chang will provide expertise on statistical methodology. Royer and Gordon are responsible for collection of data and geophysical interpretation. Their collaboration will advance understanding of global tectonic processes and impact on future directions in earth sciences.