Communications

 
 

The Community Engagement Office aims to build the identity of the Observatory beyond the scientific community, reaching government and leadership, educators, partners, and the media. This is achieved by elevating our scientists’ research and expressing the importance of Earth science awareness through both local and international media, and through the Observatory’s social channels.

Blog

“How Strong are Singapore’s Reefs?”

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Did you know that the coral reefs of Southeast Asia account for a third of the world total? Spanning an area of 100,000 km2, these reefs are rich in biodiversity and provide critical services to coastal communities, including fisheries, tourism, and coastal protection. 

While reef health and resilience are often measured by metrics such as the amount of coral on a reef or the number of different species, the quality of the coral skeleton itself is also a critical part of the services reefs provide. In Singapore, we found that some coral skeletons deformed and fractured more easily than their counterparts from other reefs, which may make them more vulnerable to climate change.

As corals grow, they deposit calcium carbonate crystals underneath their tissue, building their skeleton upwards and outwards over time. Some corals grow fast, at rates of ~10 centimetres (cm) per year, while others grow more slowly, at rates of ~1 cm per year. Some corals can keep...

“The Breathing Cycle of the Himalayas”

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The Himalayas rise and sink in a relentless cycle driven by geological forces. In an interview with National Geographic, Assistant Professor Judith Hubbard, a Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, compares the evolution of the mountains to our breathing cycle.

The mountains rise, or inhale, due to the forces generated as the Indian plate moves northward and collides with the Eurasian plate. They subside, or exhale, when an earthquake happens. The exhalations can be of different intensities, from violent coughs – strong earthquakes – to hiccups – smaller earthquakes. This illustrates the seismic cycle: a complex behaviour of the geological faults which store energy due to the collision between the plates, and release it during earthquakes.

The interview highlighted the findings of a recent study published in...

“Mw 6.6 Earthquake Strikes Off the Coast of Sumatra”

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A strong earthquake struck the Nias region off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, on 14 May 2021 at approximately 1:33pm (Singapore time). According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the magnitude-6.6 earthquake occurred at a depth of about 10 kilometres.

Based on information provided by the USGS, yesterday’s earthquake occurred within the Indo-Australian plate, where it bends before subducting under the Eurasian plate. As the plate bends, it can break and generate what is known as an outer-rise earthquake.

Yesterday’s earthquake is not a megathrust event as it did not occur at the boundary between the two tectonic plates, unlike the 2004 Great Sumatran earthquake. "It demonstrates how subduction zones are not just simple plate boundaries but involve internal deformation of both of the plates with complex seismicity," said Assistant Professor Judith Hubbard, a Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) who studies...

Media

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