Annual Report 2016 - About

The Earth Observatory of Singapore conducts fundamental research on earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and climate change in and around Southeast Asia, toward safer and more sustainable societies.

Director’s Message

Looking back at our eighth year, the Earth Observatory of Singapore has come into its own as a hub for geohazards research in Southeast Asia. We continued to pursue answers to fundamental questions about how the earth works and to raise awareness about natural hazards.

This year’s report highlights our work in Nepal, the site of a devastating earthquake in 2015. The effects of that event underscored the need to examine and forecast geohazards before they strike. Judith Hubbard was doing just that: She and her colleagues had been studying the three-dimensional geometry of the great fault that causes most destructive Himalayan earthquakes. Last year, she made the surprising discovery that the shape of the fault may well have prevented the seismic rupture from reaching the surface. Paul Tapponnier, who began his work in the region decades ago, continued his investigations of great historical earthquakes to understand the potential for future events.

This year we profile three of our Principal Investigators—in addition to Paul Tapponnier, we put the spotlight on Nathalie Goodkin, who has uncovered past climate behaviour from corals and is connecting the past with the present to forecast how the Southeast Asian monsoons may change as our planet warms; and Caroline Bouvet, who is assessing hazards from Sumatra’s volcanoes.

As the Earth Observatory evolves through 2017 and beyond, we will continue to make new discoveries about our planet and build bridges with regional and global communities. I am pleased to share our accomplishments in this year’s Annual Report.

Kerry Sieh, Director

Professor Kerry Sieh