Centre for Geohazard Observations

The mission of the Centre for Geohazard Observations is to install, maintain, and manage the EOS’s geohazard observation networks in and around Southeast Asia. It aims to achieve high serviceability of the networks to consistently record quality data necessary to the fundamental research conducted by the Observatory.

Supporting Scientific Research

The Centre for Geohazard Observations (CGO) installs, maintains, and manages the Earth Observatory of Singapore’s (EOS) geophysical and other field instrumentation stations and networks spread over several countries in and around Southeast Asia. The CGO also conducts geophysical surveys in aid of research, providing support in various technical matters that include the acquisition, computing, and archiving of geophysical data. The Centre strives to provide an innovative and conducive technological environment for our scientists both in the field and in the laboratory. 

In providing effective technical and research support to the Observatory, CGO works closely with the Observatory researchers. Scientific requirements as well as technical and operational constrains are fully considered in all implementation and maintenance plans. CGO also works closely with our Southeast Asia collaborators, aiming to strengthen and expand the relationship to advance the regional geohazard research community.

Field Installations and Equipment

 
 

Ground-penetrating Radar (GPR)

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Ground-penetrating Radar (GPR)

(GPR) is a technique that uses high-frequency radio waves to image the subsurface of the Earth. This technique is often used by our scientists to study sediment deposits related to coastal hazards in Southeast Asia.

The usage of the ground penetrating radar (GPR) at EOS provides scientists the useful information about the material properties in the shallow depth of the earth. This technique has been widely used in many other research fields from decades.

Scientists in EOS use this technique extensively to study the sedimentology related to the coastal hazards in Southeast Asia, such as the trace of the unusual typhoon events, and the deposits from the tsunami waves. EOS also uses GPR in Nepal to sense the location of the giant fault at the root of the Himalayan mountain range. This giant fault ruptured in 1934, and caused great destruction to the Nepal area.

The CGO and the scientists at EOS are fully capable of acquiring, processing, and interrelating the GPR...

Lab Volcano Facilities

Lab Volcano Facilities

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Lab Volcano Facilities

The purpose of the Lab Volcanoes is to understand the timing, rates and other details of the magma supply of different volcanoes, in order to improve forecasts of future eruptions. To this end, laboratory volcanoes display very diverse monitoring tools that provide a constant flow of data.

EOS has developed volcano laboratories at Mayon (Southeast Luzon, Philippines) and Gede-Salak (West Java, Indonesia). These volcanoes span a wide range of degassing behaviours: Mayon is an openly degassing volcano, while Gede and Salak exhibit only minor degassing. The nuances on the degassing spectrum displayed by these volcanoes make them very valuable for fundamental research.

 

Seismic Network

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Seismic Network

The seismic networks, linked by a satellite-based communication system, monitor the tectonic motion in several earthquake hotspots within South and Southeast Asia, thus providing essential information for scientists to understand the earthquake potentials from these mega fault-systems on earth.

The CGO at EOS operates multiple seismic stations that monitor earthquakes and volcanic activities in real time and that can be linked with our cGPS stations. EOS works closely with other research institutes in Southeast Asia, including Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) to operate the GPS and the seismic monitoring arrays. In the international collaboration, EOS provides important information about the current tectonic and volcanic activities, and receives a solid support from these research institutes to understand the regional earthquake and volcanic-related hazards.

The CGO at EOS is...

Cross-section of Sumatra with SuGAr stations

Sumatran GPS Array (SuGAr)

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Sumatran GPS Array (SuGAr)

The Sumatran GPS Array (SuGAr) spans more than a thousand kilometres of the convergent plate boundary between Indo-Australian and Asian tectonic plates. With 49 GPS stations, this network provides a wealth of information on the Sunda megathrust and the Sumatran fault.

This Array is particularly valuable scientifically for three reasons:

- Numerous GPS stations are located on islands that directly overlie the locked sections of the Sunda megathrust: they are very well situated to record interseismic, coseismic ans postseismic deformation of the upper part of the subduction zone, which is unique in the world.
- SuGAr geodetic data complement centennial and millennial paleoseismologic time series collected from coral micro-atolls in the same locations. SuGAr data can therefore be inserted into the context of several earthquake cycles.
- Several great earthquakes have occurred along the Sumatran margin since the network has been implemented, and one has even...

Airborne LiDAR

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Airborne LiDAR

EOS has developed its capability of aerial acquisition of LiDAR data (Airborne- LiDAR). The CGO has carried out airborne-LiDAR surveys in Nepal and Myanmar. Compared to the Ground-LiDAR, the Airborne-LiDAR is suitable for large-area/regional high-resolution surveys. This technique provides real topography through ultra-high resolution, vegetation free images of an area as large as several square kilometers.

LIDAR

Terrestrial LiDAR

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Terrestrial LiDAR

The Earth Observatory of Singapore acquired a LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) in 2010. It is a RIEGL VZ-400, with a range up to 600m at Laser class 1, a repeatability of 3mm, and a measurement rate up to 125 000 measurements per second.

The LIDAR measures the distance to a target by emitting light pulses. This instrument can scan the topography with exquisite precision. LIDAR datasets are used in tectonics to map faults and earthquake rupture offsets: the accuracy of this instrument allows researchers to constrain precisely the slip-distribution of various faults in Asia; with complementary dating, scientists can also estimate earthquake cycles on a given fault. Sedimentologists also use the LIDAR to map precisely various outcrops.

This technique provides real topography through ultra-high resolution, vegetation free images of an area as large as several square kilometers. The CGO at EOS is fully capable of acquiring and processing Ground-LiDAR data.

Since...

Fieldwork Blog

Pandemics & Natural Hazards: The Way Forward for Earth Scientists in a Global Lockdown

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Pandemics & Natural Hazards: The Way Forward for Earth Scientists in a Global Lockdown

14 May 2020

Pandemics & Natural Hazards is a special series for the EOS Blog which looks at the compounding impacts of coinciding disasters. This third commentary is a contribution from EOS’ Centre for Geohazard Observations.

The daily coverage of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the media has given the public an insight into how the crisis has impacted the healthcare sector. We’ve seen footage of hospitals inundated with stricken patients, hospital staff begging for supplies, and the global race to find the medical holy grail of the moment – a COVID-19 vaccine.

But what about the other sectors of science that are not directly linked to the coronavirus? How are they coping with, even transforming in, this pandemic and the ensuing cross-border lockdowns?

The Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), for example, is an Earth Science research institute that conducts fundamental research into natural hazards and disaster risk reduction in southeast (...

New Seismic Network Sheds Light on Myanmar’s Tectonic Activity

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New Seismic Network Sheds Light on Myanmar’s Tectonic Activity

20 Nov 2017

Scientists have long known that Myammar is tectonically vulnerable. But only recently, says Dr Paramesh Banerjee, have they been able to understand the full extent of the country’s seismic activity. 

This new insight is made possible by the new Myanmar Seismic Network (MSN), established earlier this year. The network comprises 30 broadband seismometers, scattered throughout the country from the northernmost Kachin state, all the way to the Tenasserim Division in the south.

Dr Banerjee, Technical Director at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), led a team who built the network in collaboration with the Myanmar Earthquake Committee, and the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology in Myanmar.

The entire project took one year to complete–Dr Banerjee’s team began selecting possible sites to place the seismometers in July 2016, and the final seismometer station was constructed by July 2017.

At each of the 30 stations in the network, a high quality...

Inside Mount Mayon

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Inside Mount Mayon

05 Oct 2017

As a Research Associate at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), a large part of my work concerns studying the gaseous emissions from Mount Mayon, in the Philippines. In collaboration with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), we are working to identify the composition of the volcano’s plume, which can help us better understand what is going on beneath the surface.

Measuring gases in a volcanic plume is by no means straightforward. We can quantify the flux of sulphur dioxide via the permanent monitoring network at Mount Mayon, but to retrieve values for other volatiles such as carbon dioxide, water, and hydrogen sulfide, we must sample the plume directly. For this we use a Multi-Gas Analyzing System (MultiGAS) designed by Research Geologist Peter Kelly of the United States Geological Survey.

The infamously majestic Mayon however, provides its own set of challenges with its summit at 2,462 metres (m) above sea level, atop a...

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