The mission of Fault Observatory for the Central U.S. (FOCUS) is to drill a scientific deephole into the New Madrid seismogenic zone to better understand intraplate earthquakes.
The ultimate goal of FOCUS is to drill a 5-6 km deep scientific hole into the Precambrian basement and into the New Madrid seismic zone. Additional scientific goals for FOCUS include a better understanding of why earthquakes occur in intraplate settings, a better understanding of the geological, geophysical, and geotechnical setting of the New Madrid seismic zone, an improved understanding of intraplate earthquake processes, and a better definition of seismic hazard to benefit the public safety.
Short-term objectives include the preparation of an International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP) preproposal, initiation of site selection activities, communication with the international scientific community via scientific meetings and presentations, and development of funding sources and proposals targeted at key agencies.
Intermediate-term objectives include developing an ICDP drilling workshop proposal, investigating holes of opportunity and scientific characterization of alternative drilling sites, establishing an intermediate depth observation hole into the Paleozoic bedrock (~1 km), and preparing for an observatory dedication (not completion) on the 200th anniversary of the 1811-1812 earthquakes.
Long-term objectives include drilling a deep hole into the Precambrian basement (5-6 km) and into the New Madrid seismic zone.
Leadership: Lead Scientist and the Steering Committee
Lead Scientist: Charles Langston, CERI