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Working Group on Subduction Zones Located in Developing Countries

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Many developing countries are located above major subduction zones with a consequence of both seismic and volcanic hazards. Scientists in these countries need to understand the nature of the subduction process and the way in which, for example, changes in the configuration of the subducted slab affect the character of the earthquake distribution and the chemistry of volcanoes. However, such scientific studies are difficult to carry out because of the very limited infrastructure and emphasis on direct hazard.

There is a major benefit in getting Earth scientists together from a range of developing countries so that we can pool our expertise and help to create our own understanding of the problem we face, rather than being dependent on studies carried out by others. Of course, we also hope that scientists from developed countries interested in studies of subduction zones located in developing countries would also be willing to join this Working Group.

The Working Group needs to involve both seismologists and volcanologists, and is therefore jointly sponsored by IASPEI and IAVCEI.

Mayon Volcano in the Philippines. One of the most active volcano located in a tectonically active setting. Faults run beneath the volcano making it more dangerous to human live. About 500, 000 people live around the flanks of the volcano.

About Us

The creation of the Working Group on Subduction Zones Located in Developing Countries

has been started during the IASPEI/IAGA Joint Scientific Assembly in Hanoi, 2001 under the support from IUGG. This has been motivated by the fact that many developing countries are located above major subduction zones with consequent seismic and volcanic hazards. Scientists in these countries need to understand the nature of the subduction process and the way in which, e. g. changes in the configuration of the subducted slab affect the character of the earthquake distribution and the chemistry of volcanoes.

However, such scientific studies are difficult to carry out because of the very limited infrastructure and emphasis on direct hazard. There would be major benefit in getting Earth scientists together from a range of developing countries so that they can pool their expertise and help to create their own understanding of the problems they face, rather than being dependent on studies carried out by others. Therefore the creation of a Working Group on Subduction Zone studies that involves scientists from developing countries in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and South America was proposed. The name of the Working Group was agreed upon, i.e. Working Group on Subduction Zones Located in Developing Countries in order not to exclude scientists from developed countries interested in studies on subduction zones in developing countries to join the activity within the new Working Group.

The goal would be to encourage scientists from these developing countries to investigate and (better) understand the Earth system beneath their countries, with the aim of providing an effective scientific basis for minimising the impact of seismic and volcanic hazards. Therefore, the Working Group would need to involve both seismologists and volcanologists, and would need to be jointly sponsored by IASPEI, IAVCEI and other Associations in the belief that this would be a very suitable activity for financial support from the Union fund for Inter-Association activities related to developing countries.

To contact us:

Raymond Patrick R. Maximo Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences Davis Hall, Northern Illinois University DeKalb, IL 60115 USA

Phone: 847-224-7915 Fax: 815-753-1948 E-mail: rmaximo1@niu.edu

Members

*these people were present during the IUGG 2003 meeting of WGSZLDC held last July 10 at Royton Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan.

*scientists who signify their intentions in joining the working group can be found in the yahoo groups mailing list.

News

To contribute to the preparedness of countries prone to tsunami, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS-DOST) in collaboration with the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC), the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI), the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI), and the Working Group on Subduction Zones Located in Developing Countries (IASPEI-IAVCEI-WGSZLDC) hosted a training-workshop entitled "The International Training-Workshop on the Numerical Modeling of Tsunami for Developing Countries in Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean" on November 07-19, 2005 at the PHIVOLCS Building in Quezon City.

The participants came from countries like People's Republic of China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. The 10-day training workshop was facilitated through series of lectures and hands-on computer exercises under the supervision of experts on tsunami modeling namely Dr. Modesto Ortiz (CICESE-Centro de Investigacion Cientifica y de Educacion Superior de Ensenada, Mexico) and Dr. Yuichiro Tanioka (Hokkaido University, Japan).

The objectives of the training workshop are (1) to provide the participants the opportunity to acquire knowledge in the field of tsunami numerical modeling to help them estimate tsunami height, inundation or flood, and arrival time information, which are all important and crucial for warning and planning realistic evacuation routes; and (2) to equip the participants the necessary skills to carry out a tsunami mitigation research in their home institutions upon their return. Hence, at the end of the activity, each of the participants should be able to present a tentative plan of action for their corresponding countries.

The opening ceremonies was held on November 08 at 8 a.m. The occasion was graced by Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. (Director, PHIVOLCS-DOST), Dr. Rogelio A. Panlasigui (Undersecretary for Research and Development, DOST-Department of Science and Technology), Ret. Gen. Glenn J. Rabonza (Administrator, OCD-Office of Civil Defense; Executive Director, NDCC-National Disaster Coordinating Council), Dr. Sri Widiyantoro (President, WGSZLDC), and keynote speaker Dr. Laura S.L. Kong (Director, ITIC).

Meetings

IAVCEI 2008 General Assembly August 18-25, 2008 Reykjavik, Iceland www.iavcei2008.hi.is http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/586134584

AGU Fall Meeting 2008 December 15-19, 2008 San Francisco, CA USA http://www.agu.org

IASPEI 2009 General Assembly January 10-16, 2009 Cape Town, South Africa www.geoscience.org.za/iaspei2009

XXVth IUGG General Assembly June 27 to July 8, 2011 Melbourne, Australia www.iugg2011.com

Minor meetings of IASPEI and IAVCEI

7th General Assembly of Asian Seismological Commission Seismological Society of Japan 2008 Fall Meeting November 24-27, 2008 Tsukuba, Japan www.soc.nii.ac.jp/ssj/asc-ssj2008

Cities on Volcanoes 6 Tenerife 2009 Canary Islands, Spain November 16-20, 2009 www.citiesonvolcanoes6.com

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