Earthquakes without frontiers: a partnership for increasing resilience to seismic hazard in the continents

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: School of Earth and Environment

Abstract

Between 2 and 2.5 million people have died in earthquakes since 1900, and approximately two-thirds of those deaths have occurred in the continental interiors, far from the plate boundaries. Over this time interval, advances in the scientific understanding of earthquakes have been translated into impressive resilience in regions where the hazard is well understood (eg California, Chile, and Japan). Here, resilience is defined as the ability of a community to resist, accommodate, or adapt to the effects of an earthquake, to maintain critical basic functions, and to recover after the event.

Comparable advances have not, however, taken place in most parts of the continental interiors. Instead, many parts of the continental interiors, and particularly the Alpine-Himalayan belt, have seen a major increase in vulnerability to earthquakes in the last few decades, due to a wide range of social, economic, and governance issues. Increasing resilience to continental earthquakes and their related hazards is therfore an urgent scientific and societal priority. This goal requires a holistic view of earthquakes, and collaboration between physical scientists, social scientists, practitioners, and governments on a scale that has not yet been attempted. Our project knits together three groups with extensive and successful track records in (i) the science of earthquakes and related hazards [COMET+, the Dynamic Earth and Geohazards research group in the National Centre of Earth Observation, and the British Geological Survey Hazards Group] (ii) exploring the social science of resilience to emerging hazards and risks [Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, University of Durham, and associated researchers] and (iii) the use of research to promote evidence-based policy [Overseas Development Institute].

First, we shall establish a global partnership between researchers from six UK universities, two UK research centers, and representatives of a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations from countries across the Alpine-Himalayan belt. This partnership will be focused on communication and sharing of research needs and knowledge gaps, basic research findings and outputs, and new approaches for building resilience to earthquakes across the region.

This partnership will carry out coupled physical- and social-science research in three case-study areas (China, central Asia, and the Himalayan front). Our understanding of earthquake occurrence across this large region is currently too poor to provide detailed estimates of likely earthquake probabilities and effects at the sub-national scales needed by communities - let alone to provide forecasts of earthquake occurrence.

One component of the project involves research into the locations of active faults across the region, the rates at which they are currently deforming, and the ground shaking that they are likely to produce. This basic physical science research, which will also include the effects of secondary hazards such as landsliding, will provide baseline scenarios about the hazards in forms that are meaningful for, and usable by, the communities at risk.

At the same time, we shall map and identify the societal factors that help or hinder the creation of resilience to those physical hazards. This holistic approach to resilience will include investigation of cultural practices and adaptations, economic considerations, social mechanisms, and the role that governance at all scales plays in determining how resilience communities are to earthquakes.

The overall framework of this project, provided by the ODI's RAPID methodology, will allow us to draw upon the expertise of the partner organisations, and the research findings outlined above, to generate a set of evidence-based toolkits and policy recommendations that together will define the pathways by which resilience to earthquakes can best be increased, both in the case-study areas and across the entire partnership.

Planned Impact

The immediate impact of this work will be in the countries participating in the study. These countries have a number of government-funded or -run institutions with responsibility for seismic hazard assessment and planning, such as the GSI (Iran), CEA (China) and Ministry of Emergencies (Kazakhstan). These bodies will benefit through identification of earthquake-related hazards; capacity building through training of students/researchers and exposure to the wider earthquake hazard community; and evidence-based information to influence policy decisions.

National and international NGOs, and regional organizations and networks will benefit from development of more systematic approaches to assessing vulnerability and building resilience; understanding of the governance `landscape' that underpins their activities; and provision of materials and expertise for training and education. Training activities will include both project-specific courses run by ODI in Y4-5, and input of research results and expertise into training programmes run by our partners. The ODI-run courses will focus on policy makers and operational agency staff; training run in collaboration with our partners will include techniques for physical hazard and vulnerability assessment.

During the lifetime of this project, we expect that the benefits will flow to other nations in Eurasia, particularly the Central Asian republics, where there are comparble seismic hazards, and there are already expressions of interest at high political levels for joining the partnership. In addition, the surveys of other nations, particularly Italy, Greece, and Turkey, will both contribute to, and derive benefit from the earthquake science carried out under this partnership.

The project will also have significant impact on the Global Earthquake Model (GEM), a public-private partnership to develop a global understanding of earthquake risk. NERC and BGS are partners in GEM, and some COMET+ investigators are already contributing their own inputs on faults and countries they have been studying. Several of our overseas Partners are also their own national representatives on GEM, so there are multiple and clear links to make sure the new science from this Partnership, which will be highly relevant, is channelled effectively into the GEM project.

The Insurance and Risk Industry, both in the UK and overseas, is concerned with earthquake hazard and catastrophe planning. It is a principal driver behind the GEM project and is clearly interested in the constantly-evolving understanding of earthquake hazard. We are well connected to this industry through: (1) the BGS and NERC Council, which includes Mr. Rowan Douglas of Willis Re; (2) the COMET+ Advisory Board, which includes Dr. Andrew Coburn of Risk Management Solutions (RMS); (3) Prof. Robin Spence of Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd, who is a member of the Willis Research Network and on the Scientific Board of GEM.

Large, damaging earthquakes are rarely out of the news for long, and the public appetite for informed and clear explanations of natural catastrophes is insatiable. Such events are virtually certain to occur during the duration of an this project. We shall pursue energetically the opportunities to engage with the public through lectures, broadcasts, web sites and briefings to UK government agencies and NGOs. Many of the investigators on this proposal are regularly engaged in this activity.

Education will form an enduring impact of this project. We confidently expect that exceptional young researchers from the counties involved will be attracted into this programme and will be able to pursue graduate studies or post-docotoral work, through state-sponsored, or philanthropic support. This is a route through which we have in the past helped countries such as Iran and Mongolia to grow their capacity in earthquake science.

Publications

10 25 50

 
Description 2020 update: EwF has generated much new knowledge since the beginning of the project: not only on the geology, geophysics and seismology that cause earthquakes, where the faults are, and (very approximately) how frequent and how powerful future earthquakes are likely to be, and the hazard posed by earthquake-triggered landslides, but also on the governance and policy environment for improving resilience and the social and cultural characteristics of communities and what they can do for themselves.

Findings include:

We identified a number of active faults near the major cities of Central Asia, including those responsible for a series of earthquakes, in 1885, 1887, 1889, and 1910, which seriously damaged Almaty and Bishkek. Our collaborators and we produced some of the first modern scientific outputs connected with earthquake hazard in Kazakhstan by carefully documenting these active faults with state-of-the-art techniques. As a result of this work there is now, for the first time, a probabilistic seismic-hazard map for the region that is based on modern earthquake science.

Joint field-based research with Indian partners has helped clarify earthquake hazard in peninsula India, where large destructive earthquakes occur within the thick cold Indian shield (e.g. 1895, Latur, 1997 Jabalpur, 2001 Bhuj).

Before the EwF project began, a tsunami hazard was known to exist in the Eastern Mediterranean, but it was not well characterised - and was mis-attributed to the fault on the
subduction interface beneath Crete. Our work, which showed that the hazard is associated not with the subduction interface but with faults within the over-riding Eurasian continent, is published in a comprehensive study detailing the potential impacts along the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean. This work has also fed into new assessments of tsunami hazard on the Makran coast of southern Iran, made during the EwF project. The seismic hazard to countries of the former Yugoslavia and to Albania is less well recognised than that in Italy, Greece, and Turkey, but is nonetheless significant. Scientists from Albania initiated a collaboration with EwF, and we are pursuing other partnerships in the region.

For the full final report: https://www.esc.cam.ac.uk/ewf/final-workshop-report-pdf

2019 update: the EwF project has now ended but we are continuing to develop maps of active faults and their rates of activity using high resolution imagery and topography, focusing initially on Central Asia, through COMET; and applying the learning to new initatives e.g. the GCRF Seismic Cities project, integration with the Global Earthquake Model, and planned future work on disaster risk reduction in EwF partner countries.

2018 update: development of LiCSAR is ongoing with scenes now covering the Alpine-Himalayan belt as well as the world's major volcanoes. In addition, Anatolia has been used as as a test site for evaluating geodetic data integration and velocity/strain mapping methods. Preliminary results include country-scale velocity and strain maps. The maps were created using a global compilation of GNSS-derived surface velocities and InSAR observations acquired by Envisat between 2002 and 2010. We have also used the first 2.5 years of Sentinel-1 mission data to measure crustal velocity for most of Turkey and we are currently incorporating these results into our analysis. As we systematically generate interferograms and crustal velocities for portions of the Alpine-Himalayan Belt using the COMET/LiCS InSAR processing system we will quickly expand our strain and earthquake hazard mapping efforts beyond the Anatolian microplate.

2017 update: LiCSAR, the automated InSAR processing system has been launched (December 2016). Key findings relate to work on the Italy Apennines and New Zealand earthquakes.

2015 update:
Key findings for the 2015 calendar year include work on the Nepal and Napa earthquakes, and major progress with the development of the automated InSAR processing system. We aim to have a basic system operational by mid 2016.

2014 update:
We are in the process of building a system to process Sentinel-1 data to build strain maps. Sentinel-1A was launched in April 2014 and the data are only just becoming available. We have been working with archived data from older satellites to develop the methods being used in this project.


Old entries:
Employed Postdoc to begin work on large-scale mapping of tectonic strain with InSAR. This work is at a very early stage with the postdoc only beginning in January 2012
Exploitation Route Eventually, this work has potential applications in seismic hazard assessment and other areas where high-resolution deformation data are useful. We will pursue these possibilities through e.g. closer partnership with BGS and collaborations with GEM.
Sectors Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy,Other

URL http://ewf.nerc.ac.uk/
 
Description Research findings have been used to develop a number of Overseas Development Institute documents including publications and briefings on the 2014 Nepal earthquake. See http://ewf.nerc.ac.uk/policy-briefs/. Further information on the how the findings have been used in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake can be found on the EwF website. Although the project is no longer funded, the international partnerships created within EwF, such as the one described above, still exist, and we hope to continue collaborating with our partners in their countries, and to encourage interactions between them. - We continue to work with ESA to influence their acquisition policy for the new Sentinel-1 satellite, to ensure that they acquire data over all the tectonic and volcanic areas, for the benefit of all interested parties. This has included producing a density map of Sentinel-1 acquisitions prior to the launch of Sentinel-1B. This map also revealed where the ESA processor was affected by a possible rounding error in the slicing strategy which resulted in missing bursts between adjacent scenes. Although this issue was already known, information was passed to the Sentinel-1 Quality Control team to help identify which areas needed to be corrected. As larger areas are processed automatically, the coherence of the data can be examined and information fed back to ESA. We are also members of the advisory groups for two of the three missions chosen to compete as ESA's 10th Earth Explorer (STEREOID and G-Class), and we maintain a close relationship with the UK Space Agency and provide input on national and international consultations based on our research. - We have used the results from Sentinel-1 in several international responses including the Napa 2014 earthquake, Calbuco 2014 eruption, Pico do Fogo 2014 eruption, Gorkha (Nepal) 2015, Amatrice (Italy) 2016, and New Zealand 2016 events. Our work following the Nepal 2015 earthquake has had significant societal impact. Immediately following the earthquake in Nepal it was clear from our analyses, and those of our overseas partners and collaborators, that the event had ruptured a smaller fault area than we had anticipated beforehand, and that considerable threat remained from the unruptured parts that could still fail in future large earthquakes. As a result we were in constant communication with DFID, GO-Science and SAGE advising them on the development of the international scientific understanding of the evolving situation. In this period we gave over 60 interviews to the international media. - Training of local scientists was also a primary aim of the NERC-ESRC Earthquakes Without Frontiers project. Our main non-academic impacts fall into two areas: 1. Pathways to increased resilience: A significant challenge has been to encourage those responsible for public safety to prioritise earthquake resilience over other concerns. A particular problem in many countries is the willingness of the public and civic leaders to believe that scientists will one day produce a short-term earthquake prediction, which removes any incentive to take preparatory action. An effective approach has been to use our Chinese and Italian colleagues to explain where this strategy leads: in the case of Italy and the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake, to the law courts; and in China after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, to the declaration that 'reliance on short-term prediction killed 80,000 people'. One of our goals was to influence public-safety policy away from a hope in short-term earthquake prediction and towards effective education, mitigation and preparation. The main emphasis of our impact and science-into-policy agenda has been to help our local partners in their engagement with their own public, politicians and civic leaders. This has often involved accompanying them as a visible, but silent, presence, allowing our partners to demonstrate that they are connected to the international earthquake-science community, which not only enhances their own reputation and credibility, but also reassures those they are trying to convince. This has been a particularly effective benefit of the international partnership. We have participated in such meetings in Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, India and China. 2. Engagement and capacity building: A major activity of the project was to encourage international partners to meet, to share and exchange ideas, experience and expertise. This led to many creative interactions and new opportunities for joint initiatives and engagement with policy makers. In addition to international partnership meetings in Tabriz, Almaty, Bishkek, Kathmandu and X'ian, we ran training workshops in earthquake science for young researchers in Trieste, Tehran and Jammu. We also helped our local partners to produce well-informed and accurate publicly accessible material to increase public awareness and help prioritize earthquake hazard.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy,Other
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description CEOS
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact COMET contributes to the CEOS Working Group on Disasters, which increases and strengthens satellite Earth observation contributions to the various Disaster Risk Management (DRM) phases and informs politicians, decision-makers, and major stakeholders on the benefits of using satellite Earth Observations in each of those phases. projects. We used the CEOS seismic pilot to obtain vital high-resolution topographic data for the 2016 Amatrice, Italy earthquake. We have used data from the CEOS volcano pilot in collaboration with volcano observatories in Latin America to investigate the relationship between uplift and a moderate earthquake during unrest at Chiles-Cerro Negro volcanoes (Ecuador-Colombia), to investigate topographic change associated with the long-lived eruption of Monserrat (West Indies) and to study the decaying extrusion rate at Reventador (Ecuador).
URL http://ceos.org/ourwork/workinggroups/disasters/
 
Description ESA Advanced Land Training Course 2014
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact As part of the Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions programme, ESA organises an advanced Land Training Course each year devoted to train the next generation of Earth observation scientists in the exploitation of satellite data for science and applications development. Tim Wright gave a session on Hazards: Earthquakes and Volcanoes.
URL http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Watch_live_Advanced_Land_Training_Course/(prin...
 
Description Government Committee on Space and Satellites
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmsctech/160/16002.htm
 
Description Guiding ESA's Sentinel-1 Acquisition Strategy for Tectonics and Volcanoes
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact COMET and LiCS have been the main points of contact for setting the acquisition strategy for the European Commission / European Space Agency's new Sentinel-1 satellite. We have ensured that data are being acquired for all tectonic and volcanic areas. Ultimately the data will be used for improved assessments of volcanic and earthquake hazard.
URL https://sentinel.esa.int/web/sentinel/missions/sentinel-1/observation-scenario
 
Description Submission to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry on Space and Satellites
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/science-and-technol...
 
Description Topography workshop
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Oxford University hosted the COMET Topography Workshop from 31 March to 1 April, 2016, and was attended by scientists from across COMET and beyond. The workshop was all about high-resolution topography data derived from stereo satellite imagery and Structure-from-Motion. The aim was to provide practical training with the ERDAS Imagine and Agisoft Photoscan softwares, to discuss best practice and to talk about strategies and problem solving.
URL http://ewf.nerc.ac.uk/2016/04/04/comet-topography-workshop/
 
Description CGS Flagship Grant Fund
Amount £7,500 (GBP)
Organisation University of Leeds 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2013 
End 07/2015
 
Description NERC DTP (Katy Burrows)
Amount £56,000 (GBP)
Organisation Durham University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 04/2021
 
Description NERC Urgency Grant
Amount £52,360 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P018858/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 11/2017
 
Description Royal Society Challenge Grants
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 12/2017
 
Description Sentinel-1 - INSAR Performance Study with TOPS Data
Amount € 250,000 (EUR)
Funding ID INSARAP-B 
Organisation European Space Agency 
Sector Public
Country France
Start 03/2014 
End 12/2015
 
Description Wolfson Research Merit Award
Amount £35,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2015 
End 04/2020
 
Title Developing an automated InSAR system for tectonic and volcanic regions using data from Sentinel-1 
Description EU Copernicus Sentinel-1 InSAR products are now available for download from the COMET-LiCS Sentinel-1 InSAR portal. Interferograms and coherence maps have been produced automatically using the LiCSAR processor, which builds on the Gamma SAR and Interferometry software. Interferograms have been processed in overlapping "frames" defined within COMET-LiCS. Products are represented on this map by shapes that match these frames. The colour of each frame represents how many interferograms are available for that frame. Selecting a frame on the map allows you to obtain details about the frame ID and how many files exist, and to link to the downloadable data products. The map available on the LiCSAR portal represents the data that has been processed within COMET-LiCS using the JASMIN-CEMS processing and storage facility at CEDA. New interferograms should be available within 2 weeks of acquisition. We have also expanded our initial focus from the Alpine-Himalayan tectonic belt and are processing the complete archive for tectonic and volcanic areas globally. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact LiCSAR's high-resolution deformation data for the entire Alpine-Himalayan seismic belt, where most of the planet's deadly earthquakes occur, is being expanded to provide near-global coverage which will be critical in helping the scientific community and people on the ground to understand and manage geohazards. 
URL http://comet.nerc.ac.uk/COMET-LiCS-portal/
 
Title COMET-LiCS Sentinel-1 InSAR portal (LiCSAR) 
Description During the last 5 years we have built systems to automate the production of interferograms (LiCSAR) and associated products using data from Sentinel-1. With cofunding from the LiCS project, we are on track to produce high-resolution strain rate maps for the entire Alpine-Himalayan Belt and East African Rift within the next two years. Further technical development work will enable us to fully exploit the opportunity offered by Sentinel-1.The initial focus on the Alpine-Himalayan tectonic belt is also being expanded with the aim of producing a complete archive for tectonic and volcanic areas globally, as well as development of an rapid event response facility. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact LiCS is combining satellite data with ground-based observations to map tectonic strain throughout the Alpine-Himalayan Belt and East African Rift, using the results to inform new models of seismic hazard. 
URL https://comet.nerc.ac.uk/COMET-LiCS-portal/
 
Title East Helashan Fault, northern China 
Description This dataset contains a 100 km long section of the East Helanshan Fault on the western side of the Yinchuan Graben in northern China. This fault was the site of the devastating 1739 Yinchuan earthquake. Surface fault scarps are visible in the point cloud for much of the fault length. The point cloud data were constructed via photogrammetric methods from data acquired by Airbus Defence and Space (Pleiades 1A) and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK. For further details see: Middleton, T. A., R. T. Walker, B. Parsons, Q. Lei, Y. Zhou, and Z. Ren (2016), A major, intraplate, normal-faulting earthquake: The 1739 Yinchuan event in northern China, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 121, 293-320, doi: 10.1002/2015JB012355. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact n/a 
URL http://opentopo.sdsc.edu/lidarDataset?opentopoID=OTLAS.062016.32648.1
 
Description COMET-BGS partnership 
Organisation British Geological Survey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution COMET and BGS have formalised their close working relationship with a Memorandum of Understanding, setting out terms and understanding for collaboration and aiming to work to the strength of both partners. This will be built upon in the next phase of COMET.
Collaborator Contribution As above
Impact The strategic partnership with BGS underpins all COMET activities, in particular event response and scientific advice to UK Government. BGS can initiate the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters and has worked with COMET to provide emergency advice for the Scientific Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE) and Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBR), for example for the 2015 Nepal earthquake and the 2018 eruption of Volcán de Fuego (Guatamala). BGS uses COMET outputs when providing weekly advice on volcanic hazards/impacts to DfID, GO Science and other UK Government departments10. Similar multi-hazard weekly advice is also provided at a European level to the Emergency Response and Coordination Centre. COMET and BGS have long-standing relationships with partners in countries at risk from geohazards, many of which are on the DAC list of countries eligible for ODA assistance, where our long-term collaboration and support has been influential in setting national agendas and long-term plans for geohazards, for example in Iran, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration with USGS 
Organisation US Geological Survey
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We are developing links to the USGS in volcano and seismic hazard; they hope to ingest COMET's results into their models for earthquake shaking and damage. Also, COMET scientists represent the international community for the USGS Powell Centre Working Groups on volcano and seismic hazard (Biggs, Ebmeier, Werner).
Collaborator Contribution See https://www.usgs.gov/ for a description of USGS activity.
Impact COMET scientists represent the international community for the USGS Powell Centre Working Groups on volcano and seismic hazard (Biggs, Ebmeier, Werner).
Start Year 2014
 
Description Copernicus Academy 
Organisation European Space Agency
Department Centre for Earth Observation
Country Italy 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Membership of and participation in Copernicus Academy activities.
Collaborator Contribution The Copernicus Academy connects European universities, research institutions, business schools, both private and non-profit organisations. The goal of the network is to link research & academic institutions with authorities & service providers, facilitate collaborative research, develop lectures, training sessions, traineeships as well as educational and training material to empower the next generation of researchers, scientists, and entrepreneurs with suitable skill sets to use Copernicus data and information services to their full potential.
Impact Participation in events, communication of Academy activities to the broader COMET membership.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Geospatial Research Ltd., Durham 
Organisation Geospatial Research Ltd.
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Richard Walters initiated a collaboration with Geospatial Research Ltd., Durham on deployment of low-cost GNSS sensors in tectonic regions.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of Zagros regional mapping data and satellite imagery expertise.
Impact tbc
Start Year 2016
 
Description Global Earthquake Model (GEM) 
Organisation British Geological Survey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution COMET is developing a formal partnership with the Global Earthquake Model, who are end users of COMET data sets on faulting and strain, and also add value through enabling us to move beyond hazard into riskThis has included COMET staff secondments and on work on developing methodologies for incorporating InSAR data into the Global Strain Rate Model (GSRM), which currently only uses GNSS data, on simulations of the impact of earthquake scenarios, and on the incorporation of COMET's fault data from Central Asia. Further discussions are planned.
Collaborator Contribution GEM is a collaboration between public and private international organisations from around the world that play an active role in earthquake risk assessment and management.
Impact COMET has provided GEM with updates from work on the LiCS and EwF projects, including detailed information on work to map active faulting in Central Asia, measuring tectonic strain with InSAR and developing strain rate models using InSAR and GNSS. This is the first step in building a closer relationship with GEM and investigating opportunities for new collaborations. Our collaboration continues to develop methods for incorporating InSAR data into the Global Strain Rate Model (GSRM), simulating the impact of earthquake scenarios, and incorporating COMET's fault data from Central Asia. A 2017 joint meeting with BGS and GEM established the collaboration along with best practice in developing a regional fault model. COMET and GEM are now collaborating on a regional seismic hazard model, based on our growing set of observations in this complex deforming region. In addition, COMET postdoc Ekbal Hussain spent a week at GEM learning how to create damage predictions for realistic earthquake scenarios.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Global Earthquake Model (GEM) 
Organisation Global Earthquake Model Foundation
Country Italy 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution COMET is developing a formal partnership with the Global Earthquake Model, who are end users of COMET data sets on faulting and strain, and also add value through enabling us to move beyond hazard into riskThis has included COMET staff secondments and on work on developing methodologies for incorporating InSAR data into the Global Strain Rate Model (GSRM), which currently only uses GNSS data, on simulations of the impact of earthquake scenarios, and on the incorporation of COMET's fault data from Central Asia. Further discussions are planned.
Collaborator Contribution GEM is a collaboration between public and private international organisations from around the world that play an active role in earthquake risk assessment and management.
Impact COMET has provided GEM with updates from work on the LiCS and EwF projects, including detailed information on work to map active faulting in Central Asia, measuring tectonic strain with InSAR and developing strain rate models using InSAR and GNSS. This is the first step in building a closer relationship with GEM and investigating opportunities for new collaborations. Our collaboration continues to develop methods for incorporating InSAR data into the Global Strain Rate Model (GSRM), simulating the impact of earthquake scenarios, and incorporating COMET's fault data from Central Asia. A 2017 joint meeting with BGS and GEM established the collaboration along with best practice in developing a regional fault model. COMET and GEM are now collaborating on a regional seismic hazard model, based on our growing set of observations in this complex deforming region. In addition, COMET postdoc Ekbal Hussain spent a week at GEM learning how to create damage predictions for realistic earthquake scenarios.
Start Year 2017
 
Description InSAR GSRM 
Organisation University of Nevada
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provided access to InSAR data, and the expertise in working with these data, to the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) for input to the Global Strain Rate Model (GSRM). A postdoc from COMET (Walters) visited the University of Reno to further the collaboration. We have met with the Global Earthquake Model team and a COMET postdoc (Hussain) spent time with GEM to further the collaboration. Additional meetings are planned to develop the LiCS-COMET-GEM-BGS relationship.
Collaborator Contribution UNR provided access to global GPS data and the expertise in working with these data. UNR hosted COMET PDRA Walters for an extended visit. GEM hosted COMET PDRA Hussain for a visit.
Impact Outputs will be forthcoming, as this work is still in progress. The aim is to integrate InSAR data into the Global Strain Rate Model, which feeds into widely-used models of seismic hazard.
Start Year 2014
 
Description InSAR training workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact November 2019 - InSAR training workshop - The three day workshop aimed at early post graduate students and post doctoral researchers involving a combination of informal lectures and practical exercises.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://gqzvi1nt5j82vl48b1568uq1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/flyer2019.jpg
 
Description Astronomy and Geophysics Q&A - Philip England 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Philip England gave an interview on his career and experiences in Astronomy and Geophysics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://academic.oup.com/astrogeo/article-abstract/57/5/ASTROG/2738848/A-amp-G-Volume-57-Issue-5-Ful...
 
Description Blog post: Launch of Sentinel 1-A 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TBC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://satellitegeodesy.wordpress.com/
 
Description COMET - GEM workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 5-6 September 2019 - workshop involving talks and discussion with GEM (Global Earthquake Model) Foundation, a private, non-profit company based in Pavia Italy. GEM is an international organization devoted to openly developing and disseminating earthquake hazard and risk models and information globally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description GRSG Newsletter Article: Remote sensing of cross-border quakes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Feature article for the Geological Remote Sensing Group Newsletter. Article written by Richard Walters about the research undertaken as part of the Earthquakes without Frontiers project, particularly focused on EwF's scientific and humanitarian response to the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.grsg.org.uk/newsletters/
 
Description Geology for Global Development Himalaya 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Professor Tim Wright and COMET PhD student Ekbal Hussein participated in the GfGD Himalaya project which brought together scientists from the Himalayan nations and around the world, to discuss with policy-makers and community representatives how to sustainably develop the resources of the Himalaya in a way that benefits the local communities and nations.

The conference will have a practical legacy, as well as advancing scientific understanding. Policy briefings are being produced on the main themes and conclusions of the conference, and government representatives have expressed their wish to continue a dialogue about these issues with those involved in the conference. The conference will also lead to publication of scientific papers.

Booklets in English covering the course content of the related schools programme were provided to participating schools and students. Basic useful information for local communities, written in their own language, will also be developed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/himalaya14#outputs
 
Description Laura Gregory/Tim Wright/Tim Craig - Mexico Earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 20.9.17 Laura Gregory/Tim Wright/Tim Craig interviewed post the Mexico earthquake on: BBC Radio Sheffield
BBC Radio Leeds
BBC News 24
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Leeds Geological Society Lecture - When Continents Collide 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Tim Wright gave the above lecture at the LGA January 2016 meeting. The LGA aims to promote and further interest in the geological sciences, both amongst its members and within the wider community. Particular emphasis is placed on the geology of the region and its relationship to landscape and scenery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.leedsga.org.uk/
 
Description Media coverage (Phys.Org): Earthquakes on thrust faults can spread 10 times farther to a second nearby thrust fault than previously thought 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This article describes work published in Nature Geoscience, by a team including COMET members John Elliott, Tim Craig, Barry Parsons and Tim Wright, who showed that earthquake ruptures can jump much further than previously thought, a finding that could have severe implications on the Los Angeles area and other regions in the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://phys.org/news/2016-02-dose-bad-earthquake-news.html
 
Description Media engagement (BBC Radio Berkshire) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Tim Wright was interviewed about the 2015 Nepal earthquake by BBC Radio Berkshire.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02qd9g4#playt=0h07m40s
 
Description Media engagement (BBC Radio Leeds): Nepal earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Andy Hooper was interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds about the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02qf1kv#auto
 
Description Media engagement (BBC Science Hour): Nepal earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Tim Wright described COMET's work on the Nepal earthquake in the BBC World Service programme, a weekly review of scientific developments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02pzp4x
 
Description Media engagement (BBC TV) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Andy Hooper was interviewed by BBC News about the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Media engagement (BBC World Service): Nepal earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Tim Wright was interviewed for the BBC World Service about the Nepal 2015 earthquake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Media engagement (BBC website): Himalayan drop off after Nepal quake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Tim Wright features in this article which describes initial results from analysis of satellite images of the Nepal earthquake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32625431
 
Description Media engagement (BBC website): Nepal quake: Why are some tremors so deadly? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact COMET's work on the Nepal 2015 earthquake was featured on the BBC website in the context of earthquake prediction.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/32549706
 
Description Media engagement (BBC website): Satellites dissect Nepal quake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Work by Drs John Elliott and Pablo Gonzales was featured in an article by BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos. It describes the results of their Nature Geoscience paper which reveals the deep anatomy of the Nepal earthquake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35286798
 
Description Media engagement (BBC website): Sentinel satellite reveals Nepal quake movement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact COMET's rapid response to the Nepal 2015 earthquake was featured by science correspondent Jonathan Amos on the BBC website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32515059?SThisFB&fb_ref=Default
 
Description Media engagement (BBC website): Sentinel system pictures Napa quake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact COMET scientist Dr John Elliot worked with BBC journalist Jonathan Amos to develop a news story on the 2014 Napa Valley earthquake. The article, which also explained how satellite data can be used to map earthquakes appeared on the BBC website on 2.10.2014.

As well as sharing information, the article stimulated a number of online comments (21) on the BBC site.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29012588
 
Description Media engagement (BBC website): Unsettled Earth continues to rattle Nepal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Science correspondent featured work by John Elliott on the Nepal 2015 aftershock.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32708779
 
Description Media engagement (Channel 4): Terror on Everest - surviving the Nepal quake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Andy Hooper contributed to this Channel 4 documentary on the Nepal earthquake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.channel4.com/programmes/terror-on-everest-surviving-the-nepal-quake/
 
Description Media engagement (Cosmos Magazine): Kathmandu's earthquake nightmare 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview with Richard Walters, describing how new satellite radar data can be used to assess seismic hazard, as part of a feature article on seismic hazard in Nepal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth-sciences/kathmandus-earthquake-nightmare
 
Description Media engagement (Discovery Channel): Nepal earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Tim Wright was interviewed about the Nepal earthquake by the Discovery Channel.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Media engagement (ESA website): Nepal earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact COMET's work on the Nepal earthquake and associated interferogram was featured as one of ESA's regular "Space in Images".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/04/Nepal_earthquake
 
Description Media engagement (ESA website): Radar vision maps Napa Valley quake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The ESA website featured work by John Elliott and other COMET members on the 2014 Napa Valley earthquake, demonstrating for the first time how radar images from Sentinel-1 can been used to map ruptures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-1/Radar_vision_maps_Napa_V...
 
Description Media engagement (Wall Street Journal): Nepal Hit by New Earthquakes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview comment by Richard Walters on the 2nd Nepal earthquake and its relationship to the mainshock
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.wsj.com/articles/nepal-hit-by-another-major-earthquake-1431416952
 
Description Press release: A kink in the fault line explains why the Himalayas keep growing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Drs John Elliott and Pablo Gonzales' work on the Nepal 2015 earthquake, published in Nature Geoscience, featured as a press release on the Universities of Leeds and Oxford's websites. Their study show that a kink in the regional fault line below Nepal explains why the highest mountains in the Himalayas are seen to grow between earthquakes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3812/a_kink_in_the_fault_line_explains_why_the_himalayas_keep_gr...
 
Description Press release: Leading the way in Earth observation research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Awareness raised of Earth observation research in general and of COMET's research remit in particular.

TBC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3511/leading_the_way_in_earth_observation_research
 
Description Press release: New satellite maps out Napa Valley earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Demonstration of how satellite data can be used to map earthquakes from space, highlighting how in this case it was used to confirm that the West Napa Fault was responsible for the Napa Valley earthquake. This fault had not been identified as being particularly hazardous prior to the event.

TBC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3576/new_satellite_maps_out_napa_valley_earthquake
 
Description Primary School Science Outreach Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Tim Wright and 3 PhD students ran a whole day of activities at Pudsey Lowtown Primary school associated with earthquake and volcanic hazard.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Public lecture: When Continents Collide 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Tim Wright gave a public lecture at the Geological Society on how COMET is using the latest satellites to make extraordinarily accurate measurements of how continents deform, how we can use this information to understand where damaging earthquakes are likely to occur, and how the results can be used to reduce the devastating impacts of earthquakes. The talk was given twice at different times of day to reach, and was also broadcast live and made available on the web to reach a maximum audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/continentscollide
 
Description Radio Aire interview: Nepal earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Tim Wright was interviewed on Radio Aire (Leeds) about the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Radio Broadcast - NZ Earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Radio 4 Science hour broadcast featured work by Tim Wright on the New Zealand earthquake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04g1d8x
 
Description Room Space Journal: Motion capture (Napa earthquake) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Professor Tim Wright wrote an article for Room, the international journal featuring leading space scientists and industry representatives, describing how Earth observation satellites can measure how the ground deforms around earthquake faults and volcanoes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://room.eu.com/article/Motion_capture
 
Description Tim Wright - Catalyst Magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Tim Wright wrote an article for the STEM Catalyst magazine called 'Monitoring our dynamic planet from space'. Catalyst magazine is packed with interesting articles on cutting edge science, interviews and new research written by leading academics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://magazines.stem.org.uk/catalyst-edition-30.html?b=1&p=18
 
Description Tim Wright - Kaikoura earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04x05qw#playt=48s, BBC website -http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39373846, ESA website - http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-1/Satellites_shed_new_light_on_earthquakes
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04x05qw#playt=48s
 
Description Tim Wright - Kaikoura earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Tim Wright describes Satellite radar scans of last year's earthquake in New Zealand are changing the way we are thinking about earthquake hazards in regions where our planet's tectonic plates meet. 24 March 2017. BBC World Service OS - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04x2zx2#playt=33m50s, BBC World Service Science in Action -
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04x2zx2#playt=33m50s
 
Description Tim Wright - The British Interplanetary Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Satellite Earth Observation technology has transformed the way we respond to and prepare for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In this lecture, I will discuss the ways that scientists within the Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET: http://comet.nerc.ac.uk) use satellite technology. I will show examples from recent earthquakes in Nepal and New Zealand, and eruptions in Ethiopia and South America. I will take you beneath the Earth's surface into the plumbing systems of volcanoes and the deep roots of fault zones, showing how satellite are changing our views of how the Earth works. I will end by discussing the future for this technology and the role of scientists in helping society become more resilient to our hazardous planet.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.bis-space.com/2017/02/13/18376/monitoring-our-hazardous-earth-from-space
 
Description Webinar - Chris Collins and Jonathan Weiss 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact COMET host specialist webinars every 2/3 months and use speakers throughout the COMET community.
10.2.2020 - Jonathan Weiss and Chris Collins - High resolution velocity, strain, and earthquake hazard models in Anatolia from InSAR, GNSS and seismicity
The webinar enabled the audience to engage and ask questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://comet.nerc.ac.uk/comet-webinar-series/