UK: Natural Environment Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council, both based in the UK, funded GBP 3.5 million to a five year project, ‘Earthquakes without frontiers’. The project aims to understand, threat posed by unanticipated earthquakes in continental interiors. It will be led by the University of Cambridge. Researchers will use state-of the-art ground- and satellite-based technology to examine the link between earthquake faults and the landscape they have created.
The project will target a relatively neglected area for earthquake research – the ten million square kilometres of the Alpine-Himalayan belt stretching from Italy, Greece and Turkey, across the Middle East, Iran and central Asia, to China. Earthquakes in continental interiors such as these lead to significantly more deaths than on the better-studied oceanic plate boundaries because they often take place on unknown faults.
Professor James Jackson, from the Department of Earth Sciences and the project’s leader, said, “During the past 120 years, there have been about 130 earthquakes in which a thousand or more people have died. Of these, about 100 took place in continental interiors, causing at least 1,400,000 deaths.”
The project will not only pinpoint faults in the earth’s crust but also understand the vulnerabilities of communities at risk, and communicate this new knowledge to policy makers. Led by the University of Cambridge, the study involves physical and social scientists from six UK universities and four institutes and organisations, together with collaborators in some of the most earthquake-prone regions of the world.
‘Earthquakes without frontiers’ comprises scientists from Cambridge, Durham, Hull, Leeds, Northumbria and Oxford universities, from the Overseas Development Institute, British Geological Survey, National Centre of Earth Observation and Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, as well as collaborators in China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran.
Source: University of Cambridge