Earth Observatory Blog

Submitted on 21 Apr 2021 by:

Visitors to the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) will be familiar with the exhibition of polar and tropical marine wildlife by some of the world’s leading photographers.

The driving force behind the ‘Elysium Epic Trilogy’ exhibition is Mr Michael Aw, the entrepreneurial underwater photographer who organised three expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic, and Coral Triangle to document the species featured in this unique exhibition.

The locations of three disparate Elysium expeditions share one common feature – they are all in the front line of climate change. Of his experiences in the Antarctic, the Arctic, and the Coral Triangle, Michael set the scene: “It is humbling and challenging because we can see what we will lose and how much or how little we can do about...

Submitted on 24 Nov 2020 by:

Earthquakes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions and floods are some of the hazards we live with. But we can lessen the impacts of these hazards on our lives and livelihoods by following Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies. These strategies help societies prepare and respond to hazards, and therefore reduce the associated risks. DRR can happen at all levels, from individual actions to international agreements.

Disaster risk was the focal point of the APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Virtual Summer School 2020. Held over three days on 15, 22, and 22 July 2020, the summer school was organised by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS).

Usually held at Tohoku University and involving lectures and...

Submitted on 05 Nov 2019 by:

Today is World Tsunami Awareness Day. It is a timely opportunity to create greater global awareness about tsunamis as a geological hazard. Before asking how we can stay safe (or safer) from tsunamis, we must first think about how we might improve on the resilience of our current and future infrastructure.

Let’s start by looking at what a tsunami is. A tsunami is a series of waves caused by an underwater earthquake, a volcanic eruption, a landslide, or meteorological processes (meteo-tsunamis). 

So why is SE Asia vulnerable to tsunami hazards? First of all, SE Asia lies in a complex tectonic setting that contains many fault systems and volcanoes. Coupled with a high population density and a tight network of infrastructure in coastal areas, one can imagine just how...

Submitted on 11 Oct 2017 by:

Our most recent documentary short film, ‘People of the Forest: Orang Rimba,’ premiered at the Singapore Eco Film Festival in early September 2017. It was a Sunday morning just 30 minutes before the screening was about to begin and only a few people had arrived. Luckily, by show time the room was filled with an enthusiastic audience.

The ‘People of the Forest’ short offers a brief but intimate look at the lives of the Orang Rimba, a minority group of a few thousand nomadic tribespeople who live throughout the forests of Jambi province in Sumatra, Indonesia.

This short is part of a larger project – an upcoming feature film about the complex issues of haze and peatland-burning in Southeast Asia. My crew and I spent several weeks in...

Submitted on 26 Sep 2017 by:

The French Embassy in Jakarta was abuzz with excitement on Sunday, September 24 2017, as hundreds of people gathered together for the official launch of the second Marine Investigation of the Rupture Anatomy of the 2012 Great Earthquake (MIRAGE) expedition.

MIRAGE II is the third and final phase of a massive research project that aims to advance our understanding of the mysterious faults that caused major earthquakes in 2012. During MIRAGE II, scientists will conduct marine geoscience research aboard the largest French research vessel, the Marion Dufresne.

The morning began bright and early at 6am when hundreds of people thronged the streets for Jakarta’s biweekly Car-Free Day. Joggers, dancers, cyclists, vendors, families, and friends reclaimed the roads...

Submitted on 30 Aug 2017 by:

The Singapore Eco Film Festival (SGEFF) is back for its second year, featuring 21 films from 14 countries. SGEFF is a space for people from the public, private, and creative sectors to come together to learn about pressing environmental challenges, and to share positive solutions to these issues. 

The hosts of FirstLook Asia, a daily Channel NewsAsia Programme, sat down with SGEFF Executive Director Jacqui Hocking to find out more about what to expect from SGEFF. Joining them was Professor Isaac Kerlow, an award-winning filmmaker and Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.

Prof Kerlow spoke about the process of making his new film, 'Orang Rimba,' which traces the impacts of forest development on a group of...

Submitted on 21 Aug 2017 by:

The one-north Festival is an annual celebration of research, innovation, creativity, and enterprise. This event includes talks, exhibitions, workshops, and tours. As part of our outreach efforts, the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) took part in this year’s one-north Festival.

Professor Kerry Sieh, the director of EOS, gave a public lecture titled ‘The Sustainability of Singapore and Its Neighbours in the Face of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes and a Changing Climate.’ In this presentation, Prof Sieh discussed the relevance of geohazard science for Southeast Asia and, specifically for Singapore. 

Prof Sieh began by asking the audience to consider the need for research. “Why do research?” he asked the audience of primarily secondary school students and...

Submitted on 31 Jul 2017 by:

Assistant Professor Sylvain Barbot discusses the scientific implications of the data gathered from the search for flight MH370 on Channel NewsAsia

Since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing over two years ago, the world has waited with bated breath for news of its discovery. A massive search for the aircraft recently ended without conclusive results. While the disappearance of MH370 remains a tragic mystery, the search could provide valuable data to scientific communities. 

Ms Glenda Chong and Mr Steve Lai, co-hosts of Channel NewsAsia’s PrimeTime Asia programme, spoke with Assistant Professor Sylvain Barbot last Friday about the scientific implications of this data.

Asst. Prof Barbot, a Principal Investigator of the Tectonics Group at the Earth...

Submitted on 12 Oct 2016 by:

Welcome to the final part of our double-story feature for the 2016 Earth Science Week. Today, Dr Dawn Ruth, a Research Fellow in Assistant Professor Fidel Costa’s Volcano Group at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, shares her most memorable encounters from working in the field.

Hi, folks! My name is Dawn Sweeney Ruth and I am from the United States. I moved to Singapore just over two years ago to work on open-vent volcanoes in the Philippines. These types of volcanoes are found all over the world, and their frequent eruptions can pose significant hazards to nearby populations. Specifically, I am collaborating with our colleagues at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to work on Mayon volcano. In honor of Earth Science Week, I’d like to tell...