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

 
 

Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

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Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) surveys provide detailed information of temporal landscape changes, post disaster landscape, and potentially high-resolution digital terrain models acquired from aerial photos taken from the drone. Our scientists use a combination of techniques, including images taken from the UAV, to investigate faults and volcanic activities.

This technique provides detailed aerial investigation of the temporal landscape changes, the rapid response of the post disaster assessment, it also provide us the chance of generating the high-resolution digital terrain model (DTM) from the aerial photos taken from the drones.

The rapid-developed small UAV system (Drone) brings a new era of low-altitude unmanned aerial survey. Researchers at EOS have quickly adopted this technique, and applied it to volcanic and tectonic-related geomorphological studies.

The CGO has the capacity of using the drone to conduct aerial surveys, and is capable of acquiring...

Infrasound Monitoring System

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Infrasound Monitoring System

The infrasound monitoring system employed by EOS was first used to monitor volcanic eruptions from Indonesia. This monitoring system detects low-frequency sound waves, and the data collected will provide information on the location and explosivity of the eruption, allowing our scientists to determine the impact of volcanic ash on air traffic in and around Singapore.

The data from the Infrasound monitoring network contributes to the Tsunami early warning system, as it can detect the sound wave from the tsunami source well before the tsunami waves arrive the coastline.

EOS is currently developing its capacity of Infrasound monitoring in Singapore. The first part of its Infrasound system was installed in Singapore in August, 2013, to monitor distant volcanic eruptions. The station caught the infrasound signal from the Kelut volcano eruption in February, 2014.

This system, which can detect very low frequency sound waves in the air, provides very useful information...

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...

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.

 

GeoTouch

Geotouch

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Geotouch

GeoTouch is a multi-touch display and information portal developed by the Earth Observatory of Singapore. It is a useful tool to visualize GIS content on a large multi-touch screen. A natural multi-touch interface allows the user to pan, zoom and 3D rotate maps and layers on display using touch to examine geographic and geological information.

More information on GeoTouch here

Fieldwork Blog

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...

From Rooted Tree to Voyaging Boat

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From Rooted Tree to Voyaging Boat

05 May 2017

Different rainforest trees grow on an island called Siberut; one of four big islands of the Mentawai Archipelago located off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Katuka is what Mentawaians call one family of these dipterocarp trees. These trees have very hard wood and are widely used for construction and crafting.

I want to tell you the story of one katuka tree in particular. This 400-year-old tree will soon surrender its life to serve the needs of the people. 

A Giant Falls

As the sun rises over Siberut Island, a Mentawaian called Aman Ani and his fellow villagers sharpen their axes. They prepare their meals, as well as an offering for the forest spirits. Later, they sit quietly in a motorised canoe as they cruise upstream. Some of them are smoking cigarettes. All of them reflect, knowing they will soon execute a tree that has been standing on the island for nearly 400 years. As they approach the foot of a hill, the pilot slows the outboard...

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