Earth Observatory Blog

Submitted on 14 Nov 2018 by:

On Sunday (29 July 2018), I learnt about the strong 6.4-magnitude (M) earthquake in Lombok, Indonesia. As we have friends living there, I wanted to visit to see what aid we could organise for the people there. So my husband and I went to Lombok with some friends, and we linked up with other humanitarian aid groups to visit the Sembalun area, which is about 1,000 metres above sea level, at the foothills of Mount Rinjani, one of the most scenic volcanoes in the world.


At about 6.46 pm the following Sunday (5 August 2018), just as we had finished a meeting to prioritise the relief needs, an earthquake suddenly occurred. It was my first time experiencing a quake, and it really shook the foundations of what I knew about them.

I realised I had many...

Submitted on 24 Oct 2018 by:

Let’s face it – the use of plastics has been our way of life. How many of us (at least those in our twenties) can recall going to the wet market with our parents when we were young without using a single plastic bag? Probably none. That’s the way we were brought up.

But just because something has become habitual and is a social norm does not mean that it is right, or that it has to stay that way.

The effects of plastic pollution today are not unfamiliar to most. We see news of marine animals ingesting or being trapped in plastic debris, all over social and mainstream media. We know of studies that have found that microplastics are making their way into our food chain[1][2].

But exactly how much of this can we attribute to our daily lives? It is not common that we...

Submitted on 10 Oct 2018 by:

Published in Nature Geosciences on 1 October 2018, new research by a team of scientists from the Victoria University of Wellington and the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) has revealed how understanding the events leading up to the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake may lead to a different approach to forecasting earthquakes.

The Kaikoura earthquake, which measured Mw 7.8 in magnitude, had struck the South Island of New Zealand in 2016. It resulted in a rupture that stretched over 200 kilometres (km), ripping through 21 faults – a world record for the most number of faults observed to rupture in a single earthquake event.

It is now rightly regarded as the most complex earthquake ever to be studied, and has...

Submitted on 12 Jul 2018 by:

Leading an international study on the vulnerability of salt marshes in the United Kingdom (UK), scientists from the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) at Nanyang Technological University warn that the enhanced rates in sea-level rise are likely to destroy the marshlands found in the UK sooner than previously thought. 

In a paper published in Nature Communications on 12 July 2018, the team led by Professor Benjamin Horton, Principal Investigator at EOS, found that...

Submitted on 11 May 2018 by:

On 3 September 2017, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) conducted its sixth underground nuclear test at the Punggye-ri test site. In collaboration with scientists from Germany, USA, and China, my colleagues from the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) and I published our findings in Science on 11 May 2018, revealing the complex physical processes associated with the nuclear test.

We found that the top of the mountain experienced a rise, collapse, and compaction at different time scales after the explosion. The explosive yield from the nuclear detonation with seismic and geodetic modeling was between 120-304 kilotons of TNT, which is more than 10 times the power...