|Research conducted in the Coastal and Marine Geophysics Laboratory (CMGL) at UNCW's Center for Marine Science is global in scope and involves the collection and analysis of a broad range of geophysical data. Major research focus areas include marine tectonics (mid-ocean ridge and subduction zone processes), seabed classification (estuarine and coastal ocean benthic habitats), and geohazards (active faults, submarine landslides and tsunamis, volcanic eruptions).
Ongoing research programs include investigations of the morphology, structure and tectonics of the Southwest Indian Ridge, and the Caribbean-North American plate boundary (Puerto Rico Trench and Mid-Cayman Spreading Center) using multibeam bathymetry, sidescan sonar, gravity, magnetics and single-channel seismic data. Multichannel seismic data and deep-sea scientific drilling are being utilized to investigate the tectonic, volcanic, sedimentary history and paleoclimate of the Caribbean basin and western Pacific.
Coastal aspects of the program include the use of a ground penetrating radar system for archeologic investigations of Tambora volcano in Indonesia, and beach and coastal plain stratigraphy in North Carolina. In addition, high-resolution sidescan sonar and sub-bottom profiler systems are being used to monitor storm-driven sediment dynamics and to characterize the seabed habitats in the near-shore and mid-continental shelf off the SE North Carolina and Florida coasts , and to identify active faults on the western and southern insular shelf of Puerto Rico.