ENVIRONMENTAL SEISMOLOGY

  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research -National Geophysical Research Institute (CSIR-NGRI) has launched an ‘Environmental Seismology’ group to develop a ‘Landslide and Flood Early Warning System’ for the Himalayan region.
  • The scientists at the NGRI in collaboration with German scientists at GFZ, Potsdam have launched this system.

Important points:

  • It will be based on real-time monitoring with dense seismological networks, coupled with satellite data, numerical modelling and geomorphic analysis.
  • The greatest strength of the broadband seismic network is that it enables a complete spatiotemporal tracking of the entire disaster sequence using polarization and back-tracing approaches.
  • Early warning systems help to reduce economic losses and mitigate the number of injuries or deaths from a disaster, by providing information that allows individuals and communities to protect their lives and property.
  • It is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope.
  • They are a type of mass wasting, which denotes any downward movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity.
  • The term landslide encompasses five modes of slope movement: falls, topples, slides, spreads, and flows.
  • Slope movement occurs when forces acting downward (mainly due to gravity) exceed the strength of the earth materials that compose the slope.

Floods:

  • These are the most frequent type of natural disaster and occur when an overflow of water submerges land that is usually dry.
  • It is often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid snowmelt or a storm surge from a tropical cyclone or tsunami in coastal areas.

Steps Taken:

  • Flood-plain zoning was initiated in India which provided for taking up surveys and demarcation of flood zones or plains. It prevents indiscriminate development and human settlement in such areas.
  • The National Water Policy highlights the provisions for project planning, surface- and groundwater development, irrigation and flood control.
  • The work of flood forecasting and warning in India is entrusted with the Central Water Commission (CWC)

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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