Korea-China International Research on Yellow Sea Seismological Aspect
Researchers from China and Korea have initiated a joint geophysical and seismological research in order to study the details of the tectonic characteristics of the Yellow sea area. The Yellow sea is a shallow, post-glacially submerged semi-closed ocean surrounded by China, North Korea and South Korea. The Yellow Sea is characterized by flat, broad, and featureless seafloor with average water depth of about 55 m. Although each government operates seismic networks to monitor earthquake activity and to provide essential data for earthquake hazard mitigation for their own country, monitoring earthquakes in the Yellow Sea received less attention since the area is located at the edge of any seismic networks. Less seismicity and difficulty of direct access also made the area to receive less attention. As the result, the tectonic characteristics of Yellow sea are not clearly known yet. Although seismological research to understand the tectonics of the East Asia has shown significant advances during the last few decades, understanding the details of the Yellow Sea and its surrounding region requires international efforts. The joint research includes the installation of 11 temporary broadband seismic stations surrounding the Yellow Sea and monitoring seismic activity for a year. The international efforts made in this study will provide significant improvement in our understanding of deep and shallow subsurface structure, seismicity, and tectonics of the Yellow Sea and its surrounding regions. We report the progress of the study and present very preliminary results of earthquake relocation and upper mantle structures using seismic tomography method.