During the early evening of 28 September 2018, a magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck along the coast of northwestern Sulawesi, Indonesia. This region hosts a famous strike-slip fault system...
Coastal Lab - Adam Switzer
The coastal lab investigates the geological record of coastal hazards (storms and tsunamis) in Southeast Asia. The lab’s 11-strong research group brought in from around the world currently studies beaches, coastlines and low-lying areas in ten different countries – Vietnam, China, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Lebanon, Tahiti and Taiwan.
One of the driving aims of the research group is to make the coastlines of Asia safer places to live, work and play. Records of past coastal hazards events can help predict impacts and likelihood of similar future events. We also aim to be able to use the information on past coastal change to provide an idea of what might be expected in the future, and thereby to inform policy and planning decisions.
Globally, studies of the sedimentation and geomorphic effects of tsunami and storm surge have gained increasing popularity and recognition since the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 demonstrated the vulnerability of coastal communities the world over, and the 2011 Tohoku-Oki Tsunami reminded us that we can never be too prepared for such events.
Since its inception in 2010, the lab has made significant contributions to coastal change research around the world, has been involved with developing new approaches to reconstructing tsunami and hurricane hazards, and has made major contributions to improved planning and management of the human activities in the coastal environment.
Assessment of the recurrence of typhoons, storms and tsunamis in the region, as well as its onshore and offshore geological evolution, are of crucial interest to the stakeholders, as the South China Sea littorals have one of the highest rates of infrastructure development in the world.
The overarching goal of our studies is to characterise the strength of the lithosphere from geodetic to geologic time-scales and explore its implications for landscape evolution and mantle dynamics.
We plan a reconstruction of late Quaternary environmental history of the Kallang basin, southern Singapore.
We propose using geomicrobiology to overcome the primary issue in documenting prehistorical coastal hazards which is the faint distinction between storm and tsunami deposited sediments.
We plan a comparative study to test the feasibility of reconstructing hydroclimate and temperature variability during the past (MIS 5e) and current (Holocene) interglacials from marine sediment cores recovered offshore from Singapore.
The overarching goal of our studies is to characterise the strength of the lithosphere from geodetic to geologic time-scales and its implications for landscape evolution and mantle dynamics.
To assess disaster risk more precisely, Switzer and his group are looking for microbial signatures that indicate past coastal flooding.