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 can Understanding Tsunamis and Earthquakes Aid Community Preparedness?”

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In conversation with Assistant Professor Judith Hubbard, Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore

1. Why it is important to understand tsunami generation? Recent earthquakes in New Zealand triggered tsunami warnings along coastal communities, yet no tsunamis resulted. Why was this so?  

These recent events in New Zealand highlight the fact that tsunami warning systems have to do two things: first, they have to identify which earthquakes can produce tsunamis, and second, figure out which earthquakes won’t. This is difficult to do because the process of tsunami generation is complex and depends on a lot of factors.

In general, when people talk about an earthquake, they are referring to the shaking that we feel as a result of a fault slipping. Most faults are in the region between two tectonic plates, and they periodically slip as the plates move. When a fault slips, it releases a lot of energy in the form of ground shaking,...

“Tiny Crustaceans that Record Changes in Water Quality and Pollution”

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Ostracods are aquatic crustaceans that range from 0.2 to 30 milimetres in size. Did you know that that these tiny creatures, also known as seed shrimp, can be used to indicate the pollution levels in lagoons in Southeast Asia?

This is the main finding of our new study published in Environmental Pollution, which uses ostracods collected from a coastal lagoon in Vietnam.

Ostracods produce a skeleton on the outside of their bodies that consists of two valves that open and close like a mussel shell. The shells are formed of calcium carbonate and are easily fossilised in the sediments in which they live. Ostracods first appeared 485 million years ago and their species can be found in a wide variety of aquatic environments from lakes and coastal wetlands to the deep oceans. They are even found in wet terrestrial sites such as in leaf litter and caves, and in water bodies deep underground....

“How are Singapore's Past Disasters Linked to its Future Resilience?”

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Singapore is known as one of the safest places in the world. Why, then, would we choose Singapore as a case study for developing new methods for disaster risk reduction?

People tend to be surprised when a natural hazard occurs and shocked when disastrous impacts follow. We wanted to create a new framework that can help preempt such surprise. We developed a guided process to explore potential outcomes that we do not naturally want to consider due to our optimistic human nature. And, regarded as one of the world’s safest countries, where could be a more surprising location for a disaster to happen other than Singapore?

First, we needed to better quantify and understand the past disasters Singapore has experienced. We started by looking into the past records of Singaporean disasters in prominent global disaster databases. At a glance, the global records reflect this perception of little to no historical event of note.

Digging into the local records,...

Media

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