“There is good infrastructure for GPS research in India”
What are the key features of the National Seismicity programme?
The Seismicity programme is implemented with a comprehensive approach focusing on various aspects. The focus is not only on basic research on earthquake processes but it also lays emphasis on public awareness and outreach programmes.
Is there a GPS specific programme?
In 1998, DST formulated a comprehensive national programme on earthquake hazard assessment and related geodetic studies. There are over 34 permanent stations operational at various locations. A National Data Centre is also being set up & functional at Survey of India. These are operated by several research, academic and national organizations such as Centre for Mathematical Modeling and Computer Simulation, Bangalore; Centre for Earth Science Studies, Trivandrum; Indian Institute of Geomatics, Mumbai; IIT Bombay; IIT, Kanpur; GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Almora ; National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad; Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehra Dun, etc.
Any specific outcome of this programme?
With the establishment of many GPS stations, a good scientific infrastructure in the country has been created to aid GPS related research. GPS Permanent and campaign mode stations have helped in generating strain models and measuring the velocity vectors of different parts of the country. One of the recent examples is the unique datasets mapped by various groups pertaining to the Great Tsunami Event of December 26, 2004 and subsequent aftershocks.
What are the activities of social relevance?
The seismicity programme has elements of societal aspects. The Seismological and GPS network help in the assessment of earthquake hazard and also generate inputs for R&D efforts which result in evolving location specific mitigation strategies. The knowledge gained through R&D efforts is also translated into public awareness and education. Special efforts have been made to prepare self-learning and educational
material for engineers, planners and NGOs. School children are also made aware about the scientific aspects of earthquake hazard through a special scheme on “ Earthquake Observation Programme in selected Schools of the Himalayan region”.
Tell us something about microzonation studies?
A pilot project was initiated by DST in a multi-institutional mode to microzone Jabalpur, involoving Geological Survey of India, National Geophysical Research Institute, Central Building Research Institute, India Meteorological Department and Jabalpur Engineering College as active participants. The work has been completed and the first cut microzonztion map of Jabalpur has been prepared.
Similar efforts have been initiated in Guwahati, Sikkim, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi. The studies are in various stages of completion.
How satisfied you are with the progress of Seismicity Programme?
The achievements made under seismicity programme has made visible impact both at National and International levels in terms of understanding earthquake process/ mechanism and providing inputs for evolving suitable strategies for earthquake mitigation.
What future you foresee of GPS technology?
The use of space technology including GPS and SAR inferrometry is immense in understanding earthquake hazard. In the last five years, DST has funded many projects and significant results have been obtained. As no part of the country is free form the earthquake hazard, there is a need to scale up these studies by adding more GPS stations, both permanent and campaign mode. GPS with GIS have great potential and applications in the area of earthquake mapping, assessment and management.