UTP devises method to predict sinkholes, landslides

UTP devises method to predict sinkholes, landslides

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Malaysia, 28 July 2006: As a preventive measure, a group of researchers from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) has devised a method and a software to predict landslides and sinkholes in certain areas. It is the culmination of three years of hard work since 2002, by these researchers headed by UTP Civil Engineering Department lecturer, Dr Abdul Nasir Matori.

“UTP now has experts who can predict the possibilities of landslides and sinkholes based on our research, information and gadgets,” said Abdul Nasir who majored in Satellite Offshore Positioning and Nuclear Science.

He said the group carried out the research using three methods, comprising the application of GIS, geophysics measurement techniques and GPS.

“GIS is used to analyse sinkholes in affected areas by processing, compiling and keeping the data available while geophysics measurement techniques are for gravity and resistivity measurements to identify the underground structure.

“The use of GPS is to get the coordinates for the sinkholes. This is followed by the data being integrated before going through GIS space analysis to see whether a particular area is at great risk of a landslide or sinkholes,” he said when presenting the research recently. “Our studies show that the new housing areas in Bukit Merah with some 3,369 houses are prone to sinkholes” he said.

The research was funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Survey and Mapping Department, and Perak Mineral and Geoscience Department.