Southeast Asia and surrounding areas have many large, active faults,
as well as a number of major subduction zones that are responsible for
some of the world’s most complex movements by tectonic plates. The broad
goal in this area of EOS research is to increase fundamental knowledge
of the region’s tectonic and seismic behaviour, as a basis for more
reliable forecasting of earthquakes and tsunamis as well as action to
reduce the potential hazards. A host of integrated geologic, geomorphic,
geodetic and seismologic studies are being done in collaboration with
scientists in neighbouring countries.
Volcanic arcs in Southeast Asia are among the most active on earth.
This research group conducts geologic, geochemical and geophysical
studies to improve understanding of volcanic activity, particularly
processes related to eruptions. Mayon in the Philippines and Gede and
Salak in Indonesia are key research sites because they represent
contrasting patterns of degassing. The group is also developing a
mineable global database on volcanic unrest, known as WOVOdat. These and
other projects are designed to produce knowledge and tools that will
aid forecasting of volcanic eruptions, assessment of their environmental
and societal impacts, and efforts to mitigate the hazards.
This area of EOS research aims to fill a gap of much-needed
information on climatic forces in Southeast Asia, which will allow
better prediction of regional consequences that can expected from global
climate change. Several major drivers of global climate, including the
Western Pacific Warm Pool and the Indian Ocean Dipole, are active in
this tropical region, yet scientific knowledge about them has been
relatively scarce. Our emerging program of climate research is
concentrating initially on regional climate monitoring, paleoclimate
studies and modelling of past and modern tropical climates.