The multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection technique, developed by the oil industry for petroleum exploration in sedimentary basins, has proven to be a powerful tool for imaging subsurface geology in a wide variety of tectonic settings at a scale suitable for detailed investigations of geological structures and processes. In the ocean basins, MCS studies have provided new insight into the tectonic history of rifted and convergent continental margins, the structure of the oceanic crust and midocean ridges, and the sedimentation history and paleoceanography of deep ocean basins. MCS techniques have thus developed into an important tool for marine geological and geophysical research.
The National Science Foundation recently sponsored a Workshop on the Future of Academic Marine Multichannel Seismology in the United States, held in Boulder, Colo., on March 19–20, 1984, to review the current state of marine academic MCS in the United States and to make recommendations on the facilities and funding required to meet future scientific needs. The workshop, which was convened by Brian T.R. Lewis of the University of Washington, included 19 scientists representing the major U.S. oceanographic institutions with interests in marine seismic work. This article summarizes the major recommendations developed at this workshop, which have been included in a more comprehensive report entitled ‘A National Plan for Marine Multichannel Seismology,’ which has been submitted to the National Science Foundation for future publication.