The Scripps Institution of Oceanography has been awarded a $1 million grant to develop a deep sea seismic network.
Scientists hope this new system will plug current monitoring gaps.
Ships typically deploy earthquake sensors in the ocean that gather data for a certain amount of time before they are retrieved by vessels.
Scripps will pair with industry in the project that's being funded by the National Science Foundation. Data from the sea floor sensors will be transmitted to a surfboard-sized autonomous unmanned vessel on the ocean's surface, and then to shore via satellite.
Researchers say the unmanned vessel would be able to stay stationary for longer periods of time, allowing for more data collection.