TGS partners IPGP Marine Geosciences Group to assess Banda arc

Source: press release, 1 October 2019

The Banda arc assessment project will study earthquake and tsunami hazards in the region
The Banda arc assessment project will study earthquake and tsunami hazards in the region (illustration: TGS/IPGP)

TGS has announced that it is working with Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) Marine Geosciences Group on a project is to assess earthquake and tsunami hazards in Banda arc and neighbouring regions.

IPGP – a French governmental, non-profit research and higher education establishment – is licensing some of TGS’s Banda datasets on a 3-year project to analyse seismic reflection and bathymetry data to map active faults and assess geohazards in the region. Specifically, the group aims to:

  • Map active and in-active faults and estimate slip on them, along with an estimation of the total displacement/shortening in the recent past.
  • Evaluate the tsunami potential associated with possible failures along these faults and related slumps on steep trough margins.
  • Develop a tectonic evolutionary model of the region.

Even though the Banda arc system has not produced any great earthquakes in the recent past, there is every reason to believe that there could be future devastating earthquakes in the region that are unknown until they occur, much as was the case in the Sumatra region before the 2004 catastrophic earthquake. Greater in-depth analysis through assessment of the tectonic evolution of the subduction systems and major faults can only help to paint a more complete picture of the earthquake and tsunami risks of the region.

Kristian Johansen, CEO at TGS, says, “I am pleased that 2D seismic images and multibeam data from TGS will be used for this important research project. While our business is very much commercially focused, when our data can be used to potentially benefit the wider community, we are eager to lend our support as part of our environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives.”

Professor Satish Singh, Principal Investigator for the Active Tectonics and Marine Geohazard project at IPGP, adds, “IPGP and TGS have been collaborating over the last 7 years on the analyses of seismic reflection data from Sumatra and Java regions, and this study is a continuation of this activity further to the east and north. We have trained several young Indonesian students and scientists in interpreting these data. We are confident that this project will help to increase the knowledge of tectonic hazards in the region that could eventually lead to improved early warning systems for coastal inhabitants in the Banda Arc and north-west Australia region.”