When continents collide: Active deformation and seismic hazard

Since 1900, 35 earthquakes worldwide have each killed at least 10,000 people. Of these, 26 were in the Alpine-Himalayan seismic belt – a broad “crumple zone” where the African, Arabian and Indian tectonic plates collide with Europe and Asia. Most of these deadly earthquakes were caused by the rupture of faults that had not previously been identified.

CGS scientist Tim Wright is Professor of Satellite Geodesy at the University of Leeds and Director of the Natural Environment Research Council’s Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET). His work has been at the forefront of developing the use of satellite radar for measuring tectonic and volcanic deformation.

Tim was recently invited to present a guest lecture at the Geological Society on his work trying to understand the nature of seismic hazard within the Alpine-Himalayan region.

You can follow Tim on twitter: @timwright_leeds


First Sentinel 1 satellite results for Nepal earthquake

The first coseismic sentinel 1 satellite results have now been processed by researchers in the InSARap project.

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[edit] For a sharper image of the ground deformation see our latest post.

Tim Wright, CGS scientist and professor of satellite geodesy at the University of Leeds has provided a preliminary interpretation of the new results.

1. The earthquake ruptured East from the epicentre, confirming the observations from seismology.

2. Peak displacement is very close to Kathmandu; the fault under the city slipped significantly.

3. An area at least 120×50 km uplifted, with a maximum slip greater than 1m

4. The fault did not rupture the surface.

5. Area north of Kathmandu subsides. Consistent with elastic rebound from shallow thrust.
[CORRECTION]: The area around Kathmandu is uplifted in the earthquake

6. Overall, area at least 120 x100 km moved. Sentinel-1 data invaluable at this scale.

Earthquakes and Volcanoes: Highlights from the COMET+ kick-off meeting

The Centre for the Monitoring and Observation of Earthquakes, volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET+) involves the top researchers from various institutions around the country working on the themes of earth observation, monitoring and understanding the processes involved in volcanoes, earthquakes and tectonics.

The group is headed by Leeds and CGS academic Professor Tim Wright.

Over the last two days COMET+ had it’s annual kick-off meeting at the University of Leeds. We had some enlightening talks and great discussions.

Here are some of my tweets from the event in storify format. You can view all the tweets at: #CometLeeds


COMET+ Kick-Off Meeting

Over the next two days the Centre for the Observation and Monitoring of Earthquakes, volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET+), led by CGS academic Tim Wright, is having a kick-off meeting at Leeds.

The meeting aims to update all academic members of COMET+ with ongoing research and provide an outlook into the aims and goals for the next few years.

Discussions will also involve ways forward to strengthen and maximise the potential output with the new partnership with the British Geological Survey.

You can follow tweets from the event at #CometLeeds.